Despite having played the previous night, the Carolina Hurricanes looked sharper and more rested than the New Jersey Devils and were able to come away with a 4-2 victory in Newark on Tuesday night putting an end to the Devils five game winning streak. With the loss, the Devils fell to 8-2-3 on the season, but still sit atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Jiri Tlusty scored two goals for Carolina and the Devils got goals from Ilya Kovalchuk and Ryan Carter. With Carolina on the power play and the score tied at 2 in the third, Tlusty flipped a shot toward the net that bounced off Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov and over goalie Martin Brodeur at 7:25. Tlusty would add an empty net goal late in the period for his second of the night.
“Through our streak we had won the special teams battle almost every night either with a power-play goal or we had shut the other team out with our penalty kill and tonight we lost those areas of the game and couldn't recover from that,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer said.
The Devils lost in regulation for the first time at home this season (5-1-1).
Former Devils captain Kirk Muller returned to New Jersey for the first time as the head coach of the Hurricanes. It was also the first game back for former Devils player and head coach John MacLean, now an assistant to Muller.
Dainius Zubrus (upper body injury), Henrik Tallinder, and Peter Harrold were scratches for New Jersey. Brodeur made 21 saves in the loss. The Devils look to return to their winning ways on Friday night when the Philadelphia Flyers come to the Prudential Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m..
On Wednesday, Dainius Zubrus was placed on injured reserve as the team continues to evaluate his injury. This opened up a roster spot and the Devils then called up center Andrei Loktionov from Albany.