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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, February 12th (All times Eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (6-4-1) at New Jersey Devils (8-1-3), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils will try to match their longest winning streak from last season when they host the Carolina Hurricanes for Tuesday's battle at Prudential Center.

The Devils, who are leading the Eastern Conference with 19 points, have won five straight and are coming off a home-and-home sweep of the rival Pittsburgh Penguins over the weekend.

It's the longest winning streak for the Devils since they closed the 2011-12 schedule with a season-best six-game winning streak. That hot streak was a sign of things to come as New Jersey wound up making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals before being ousted by the Los Angeles Kings.

New Jersey entered its weekend series trailing the Penguins by a point for the Atlantic Division lead, but a pair of 3-1 triumphs has pushed the Devils three points in front of Pittsburgh.

After beating the Penguins on home ice Saturday, the Devils turned in another winning effort Sunday in the Steel City. David Clarkson scored a pair of goals in the finale, as New Jersey jumped out to a 3-0 lead at CONSOL Energy Center before allowing the Pens to score their only goal early in the third period.

"It was a real gutsy effort," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "We had to dig deep. We didn't have a lot juice left in the tank and we found a way."

Clarkson already has nine goals on the season after recording a career-best 30 markers in 2011-12.

Ilya Kovalchuk also lit the lamp, while Johan Hedberg turned away 23-of-24 shots. Martin Brodeur, who made 24 saves in Saturday's victory, is expected to be back in the starting role on Tuesday.

The Devils have yet to lose a game in regulation on home ice this season, posting a 5-0-1 mark in Newark.

New Jersey has dominated the Hurricanes in recent seasons, winning six of seven and 10 of the last 13 encounters. Carolina has dropped seven in a row and nine of its previous 10 contests in the Garden State.

However, Carolina also enters Tuesday's test on a hot streak, having won three of four and getting at least a point in each of those games (3-0-1).

The Hurricanes played Monday evening against the New York Islanders and notched a 6-4 decision to improve to 3-1-1 on the six-game road trip that ends in New Jersey.

Jiri Tlusty scored twice and had two assists during a four-goal third period to help Carolina pull off a comeback win on Long Island. New York held a 3-2 edge after 40 minutes but the 'Canes took control of the game with three unanswered goals in the first half of the third period.

Alexander Semin potted his 200th career goal 5:33 into the final frame to snap a 3-3 tie, while assisting on both of Tlusty's tallies. Eric Staal added a goal and an assist and Cam Ward made 24 saves in the victory.

"I think tonight may have been the best game of the road trip," said Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller. "We just keep finding ways to win right now."

Carolina, which will host Toronto on Thursday, is 4-2-1 as the guest this season.

02/12 10:32:50 ET