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Jagr caps scoring burst as Devils edge 'Canes

The SportsXchange

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Right winger Jaromir Jagr was a part of plenty of goal-scoring bursts during his NHL career.

Not always with the frequency that the New Jersey Devils produced them in the third period Friday night, however.

A four-goal burst, capped by Jagr's 11th goal of the season, gave the Devils a 5-2 comeback victory against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

"We had some lucky bounces," Jagr said. "You have to keep the faith, that's the one thing."

Center Adam Henrique's go-ahead power-play goal with 7:58 remaining was the second goal in New Jersey's four-goal spurt. The rapid-fire scoring came in an eight-minute span, allowing the Devils to avoid what would have been a fourth consecutive loss.

"We haven't scored four goals in a game this year, so I didn't see that coming," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "We found our game in the third."

Actually, it was only the second five-goal game of the season for New Jersey.

Center Dainius Zubrus scored New Jersey's fourth goal. Jagr finished the scoring with 3:29 left, tying Steve Yzerman for eighth place on the NHL's all-time goals list with 692.

Defenseman Mark Fayne's first goal of the season and center Andrei Loktionov's second goal of the season gave New Jersey offense earlier.

Centers Jeff Skinner and Jordan Staal scored for Carolina, which was aiming for a season-high three-game winning streak.

Loktionov, Henrique and Zubrus tallied in slightly more than a five-minute stretch of the third period as the Devils wiped out a 2-1 deficit.

"It's disappointing because we played 50 minutes and we sit there and have the lead," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. "You've got to play 60. We didn't have enough from a few guys."

Goaltender Cory Schneider made 16 saves for the Devils, winning for only the third time in 11 outings. He had been the victim of low offensive production.

"Finally got (him) some support," DeBoer said. "I think everyone feels good about getting him some goals."

Carolina goalie Cam Ward, despite missing more than three weeks with an injury, played in his 13th game -- the most among the team's goalies. He stopped 26 shots.

Loktionov's goal -- his first in a 17-game span -- trickled through Ward and seemed to turn momentum in favor of the Devils. Moments later, Henrique flipped a rebound past Ward to put New Jersey in the lead.

"It was a big character win for us," Henrique said. "Sometimes you get that one (goal) and that gets it going for you."

Jagr, 41, is two goals behind Mark Messier for seventh on the NHL's career list. He also supplied two assists Friday night.

While the Devils were soaring on the final period, the Hurricanes managed only five third-period shots.

"They won more battles than we did," Muller said. "They came out with more loose pucks. Over time, it wore us down late in the game and cost us."

New Jersey won for only the third time in 12 games in which it trailed entering the third period.

The Hurricanes defeated New Jersey 4-3 on Wednesday night in Newark, N.J.

Fayne burst in front the blue line to send the puck past Ward to give the Devils a 1-0 lead with 1:40 left in the first period.

The Hurricanes answered less than two minutes into the second period with Skinner collecting a loose puck off defenseman Ryan Murphy's shot and converting.

Carolina was rolling in the second period when defenseman Justin Faulk delivered the puck from behind the New Jersey goal line to the opposite blue line, where Staal was waiting for a breakaway and he fired the puck past Schneider.

The Hurricanes maintained a 2-1 edge through two periods, thanks to defenseman Brett Bellemore protecting an open net and blocking an otherwise point-blank shot from Zubrus in the period's final minute.

Earlier, the Devils logged the game's first six shots before the Hurricanes put a puck on net about six minutes in. New Jersey went quiet without a shot for nearly nine minutes.

NOTES: Hurricanes majority owner Peter Karmanos Jr. attended the game, making a rare in-arena appearance. He was honored for his upcoming induction to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. ... Devils D Peter Harrold was scratched after playing the previous 11 games. He was minus-2 two nights earlier against the Hurricanes. ... New Jersey RW Cam Janssen also sat out for the first time after 11 straight games, perhaps a reflection of a reduction of toughness in Carolina's lineup. ... Hurricanes RW Kevin Westgarth, an enforcer, sat out the second game of a two-game NHL suspension for a boarding infraction last weekend against Ottawa. ... New Jersey is back home Saturday to take on the Buffalo Sabres. ... The Hurricanes play the first of only six December home games Sunday afternoon against the Vancouver Canucks.
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