New Jersey and Carolina have both gotten back to winning, but it’s the Devils who have won consistently over the Hurricanes and at the RBC Center.
New Jersey looks to continue its dominance of the Hurricanes on Tuesday night when the teams meet for the first time this season.
The Devils (23-12-3) are 8-1-1 in their last 10 overall meetings with the Hurricanes (20-15-5), and are 9-2-1 at Carolina since the start of the 2001-02 season.
A matchup with the Hurricanes gives New Jersey a golden opportunity to continue its strong play of late. The Devils are 4-1-0 in their past five games, scoring 18 goals during that span.
Carolina has also won four of its last five but it has used defense and special teams to its advantage.
The Hurricanes have allowed only four goals during a three-game win streak while going 4-for-14 on the power play in that time. They also have killed off 11 of their last 12 penalties.
For just the third time this season, New Jersey scored more than one power-play goal in a game, and those two scores helped the Devils rally for a 4-3 overtime victory Sunday over Ottawa.
“We could have done a better job (on the power play), no question. It’s something we’ll continue to work on,” Rolston said. “Ultimately, the last two goals were power-play goals, so you have to feel good about that. Not our best game, but we’ll take the two points.”
The Hurricanes also rallied in their previous game, coming back from an early two-goal deficit for a 3-2 win Saturday at Tampa Bay. Carolina scored all three of its goals in a 11:35 span bridging the first and second periods.
“It’s a good comeback win, and a big two points for us,” said Chad LaRose, who tallied the tying goal with 4:03 left in the first period. “We’re starting to trust each other. We’re starting to have big wins.”
Cam Ward helped the Hurricanes hold on from there, continuing his recent strong play. Since returning from a groin injury on Dec. 13, Ward is 7-2-1 with a 2.07 goals-against average, and his GAA during the three-game win streak is 1.33.
Ward, though, hasn’t experienced much success against the Devils with a 2-4-1 record and a 3.14 GAA. However, he was very sharp in the teams’ last meeting, a 2-1 overtime victory Feb. 26 at the RBC Center.
Ward will have to deal with a red-hot Zach Parise, who is among the league leaders with 22 goals and 46 points.
Parise has four goals and two assists in the last five games while Langenbrunner and Brian Gionta each have six points over the past five contests.
New Jersey’s Scott Clemmensen has never started against the Hurricanes but has made two appearances, allowing four goals on 24 shots.
Clemmensen’s focus should be on Carolina’s Eric Staal, who has 10 goals and 15 points in the last 13 games.
Tuesday’s game will also feature Hurricanes rookie center Brandon Sutter facing his father, Brent Sutter, who coaches the Devils.