Hurricanes-Devils Preview


The Carolina Hurricanes are trying to carry their home success onto the road.

A game in New Jersey may not be the ideal way to start doing that.

The Hurricanes will try to avoid their longest road losing streak in four years Wednesday night when they open this home-and-home set with the New Jersey Devils.

Carolina (9-10-5) improved to 5-1-1 in its last seven home games with a 4-1 victory over Ottawa on Sunday.

The Hurricanes haven't been nearly that effective on the road, going 3-6-1 on the season while dropping six in a row - five in regulation. They haven't endured a longer slide away from home since opening 0-10-3 in 2009-10.

Carolina has been outscored 23-11 during its current road skid, and it may not get better at Prudential Center.

The Hurricanes are 2-8-1 there in the regular season since the arena opened for the 2007-08 season. However, they snapped a seven-game losing streak in New Jersey by beating the Devils 4-2 in the latest visit Feb. 12.

Jiri Tlusty had two goals in that meeting, and has four with one assist in the past three overall against New Jersey (9-10-5). He enters this matchup mired in a seven-game point drought, and is a minus-6 over that stretch.

Two of Tlusty's three goals this season came in a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders on Oct. 19 - the Hurricanes' most recent road victory.

Eric Staal has three goals and five assists during a six-game point streak, collecting three points against the Senators. The captain has five points - all assists - over the last three meetings with New Jersey, including assists on both of Tlusty's goals Feb. 12.

Defenseman Andrej Sekera has been a pleasant surprise for the Hurricanes, scoring a career-high five goals with three in two games before being held without a point Sunday.

He had two goals and 10 assists in 37 games with Buffalo last season.

"He's really brought an offensive part of the game that's a bonus. We saw it there at one time, and he's bringing it out again," coach Kirk Muller told the team's official website. "A lot of times, it's just confidence and having an opportunity. You get a new environment, and you kind of take off. He's doing that, which is good."

New Jersey is trying to bounce back from Monday's 3-1 loss to Winnipeg, two days after a 2-1 defeat at San Jose snapped a season-best three-game win streak.

"We had chances to score two or three and we just didn't put them in the back of the net," said coach Pete DeBoer.

Patrik Elias has a goal in each of the last two games, both in the third period. The left wing has five goals and seven assists in 16 games, while missing six earlier this month with upper-body soreness.

Elias could continue his scoring surge since he has 23 points over his last 21 meetings with the Hurricanes, including the playoffs.

Jaromir Jagr also has been very productive against Carolina, accumulating 26 points in 20 games.

The Devils and Hurricanes will meet again in Raleigh on Friday.