Devils continue homestand vs. ‘Canes

( – The New Jersey Devils hope to pick up a third straight
victory when they continue a six-game homestand with Saturday’s clash against
the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Devils are 2-0 at the start of the extended stay at Prudential Center, but
the consecutive victories come on the heels of an 0-4-0 stretch that did
serious damage to New Jersey’s already slim playoff hopes. The club enters
Saturday 10 points out of a postseason spot in the Eastern Conference with
only 24 games remaining on its schedule.

After beginning the residency with a shootout win over Buffalo on Tuesday, the
Devils notched a 4-2 decision Friday against the Vancouver Canucks. Mike
Cammalleri scored a power-play goal and added an empty-netter while short-
handed to help New Jersey down the Canucks.

Adam Larsson had three assists for New Jersey, and Cory Schneider made 21
saves to register his career-high 21st win of the season and first against the
team that drafted him.

“It was nice to finally beat them, I guess, and maybe put that to bed,” said
Schneider, who was selected by the Canucks in the first round in 2004.

Patrik Elias and Jordin Tootoo also scored for the Devils, who improved to
13-8-7 as the home team.

Backup netminder Keith Kinkaid will get the start for New Jersey tonight. He
has never faced the Hurricanes.

The Devils had won four in a row in the series with Carolina before falling
2-1 in a shootout on Dec. 23. That win also marked the Hurricanes’ third win
in their last four trips to Prudential Center.

Carolina, which trails the Devils by six points in the East standings, has
won two of three and picked up a 2-1 regulation decision Friday against the
visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.

Eric Staal tallied a goal and an assist to help the Hurricanes deal Toronto
its 16th loss in 17 games.

“It wasn’t perfect or pretty as far as our game goes, but we found a way,”
said Staal. “That’s nice, and we’ll try to get better and be ready to go in
New Jersey.”

Jordan Staal also scored, Jiri Tlusty supplied two assists and Cam Ward made
23 saves for the Hurricanes, who bounced back from a 4-1 loss to the Islanders
on Tuesday.

Carolina has won three of its last four road games, but is just 9-18-4 as the
guest this season.

Anton Khudobin is expected to start in net tonight for the ‘Canes. He is 2-1-0
with a 3.05 goals against average in his career against New Jersey.