The Carolina Hurricanes managed to split four contests on their just-completed road trip, despite falling behind multiple goals to start both of the victories, and hope to come out of the gate better when the New Jersey Devils visit on Friday. The Hurricanes rallied to beat Arizona 5-3 last Thursday and Vegas 6-5 on Saturday after allowing the first two tallies in each, but surrendered the final three goals in a 4-1 loss at Dallas on Tuesday.
Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour told reporters he liked that his team showed the ability to come back, but didn't like a lot about the trip, telling reporters after Tuesday's loss: "We had one line that was going and the rest were not a factor. In today's game, you got to have everyone going or it's really tough to win." The Hurricanes play five of the next seven games at PNC Arena where they are 18-9-1 overall and have points in seven of the past eight (6-1-1), but Carolina dropped a 5-3 decision at home against the Devils on Nov. 2. New Jersey has points in seven of its last 11 games (4-4-3) after rallying for four goals in the third period to knock off Detroit at home Thursday and were led by a pair of markers from veteran power forward Wayne Simmonds. Right wing Kyle Palmieri, who could be a target of many contending teams before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, had an assist Thursday to give him six of his team-leading 39 points in the last five games.
TIME: 7 p.m. ET. TV: MSG Plus, FS Carolinas
ABOUT THE DEVILS (21-25-10): Palmieri shares the club lead in goals with Blake Coleman (21) while 27-year-old Russian rookie Nikita Gusev tops New Jersey with 22 assists. Damon Severson contributed a pair of assists in Thursday's victory to extend his point streak to eight games (two goals, seven assists), matching the longest for a Devils' defenseman since 1999-00. MacKenzie Blackwood (18-12-7) saw his shutout streak end at 171 minutes, 37 seconds while making 25 saves Thursday, but will likely hand the net to backup Louis Domingue (3-6-2) on the second of a back to back.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (32-21-3): Center Sebastian Aho is wielding one of the hottest sticks in the NHL with at least one goal in six straight games to push his team-leading total to a career-high 31. Right wing Andrei Svechnikov (22 goals) is tied with Aho for second on the team with 52 points after collecting seven during a five-game streak, and left wing Teuvo Teravainen leads the squad with 42 assists and 54 points. Petr Mrazek (18-15-2) lost his third straight contest Tuesday after making 33 saves and James Reimer (14-6-1) is 6-0-1 with a .922 save percentage since Jan. 1.
1. New Jersey C Nico Hischier (knee) has registered 32 points but missed his fifth straight game Thursday despite participating in the morning skate.
2. Carolina D Jaccob Slavin recorded five points over the past six games and is tied for fourth in the league with a plus-28 rating.
3. The Devils have scored at least one power-play goal in seven of their last eight games, going 9-for-31 during that stretch.
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