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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, February 14, 2020
PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina  Attendance: 18,680

Hurricanes seek strong start in hosting Devils

New Jersey Devils at Carolina Hurricanes

  1. The Devils won the first meeting between the teams this season, 5-3 at Carolina on November 2, 2019 and have limited the Hurricanes to eight goals while winning three of four in the series. New Jersey had totaled just three goals during three consecutive losses in Raleigh before that 5-3 win.
  2. Carolina has allowed 4.20 goals in February after yielding 2.18 in January for a league-worst 2.02 differential. The Hurricanes have given up three goals or more in a season-high six consecutive games and surrendered six power-play goals in that span after allowing three in their previous 13 contests.
  3. New Jersey improved to 4-1-3 in its last eight games with a 4-1 victory over Detroit on Thursday. The 11 points is the Devils' most in any eight-game span since the start of last season.
  4. Sebastian Aho has scored a goal in six consecutive games, the longest streak by a Canes player since Jeff Skinner in March 2017. He looks to become the first skater since the team moved to Carolina in 1997 to tally a goal in seven straight.
  5. Since 2012-13, the only two Devils goalies to have had more team points in a five-start span than MacKenzie Blackwood's current 4-0-1 stretch are Cory Schneider (December 15-27, 2017) and Martin Brodeur (November 7-20, 2013). Blackwood is the first Devils goalie to allow one goal or fewer in a three-start span since Brodeur (November 2-10, 2013).
  6. Damon Severson has two goals and seven assists during an eight-game point streak, the longest by a New Jersey defenseman since Brian Rafalski also had an eight-game run from March 22-April 5, 2007. The last Devils defenseman with a longer streak was Scott Stevens (12, March 5-27, 1994).

It has become a trend for the Carolina Hurricanes, and it's something the team is looking to reverse.

Slow starts have been a problem, often leading to allow other teams to score first. The Hurricanes have surrendered the first goal in six straight games.

"It shouldn't be tough," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "You've got to have everyone going, or it's tough to win."

The Hurricanes have returned from a four-game road trip for Friday night's game against the New Jersey Devils in Raleigh, N.C.

For the season, the Hurricanes are 10-18-2 when the opponent scores first. That's what happened in Tuesday night's 4-1 loss at Dallas.

"We weren't very good the first period," Brind'Amour said. "We got better at the end."

The Hurricanes went 2-2-0 on the road swing, with one of the victories coming in a shootout. The Dallas game marked the Hurricanes' lowest goal total in the last seven games.

"I didn't like a lot of the road trip," Brind'Amour said. "We certainly had to earn our wins, the ones we got. We didn't play well enough to win the games we lose. It's pretty simple."

The Devils will be playing their third game in four nights, losing Tuesday's home game to the Florida Panthers and winning 4-1 in Thursday's home matchup with the Detroit Red Wings. Wayne Simmonds scored twice for New Jersey against Detroit.

Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood has been on a roll for the Devils, recording back-to-back shutouts before allowing just the one goal to the Red Wings on Thursday.

"Forget about those now and keep thinking about those ahead of you," Blackwood said.

The Devils are trying to stick with their blueprint to keep goalies fresh. That could mean it's Louis Domingue's turn in Raleigh.

"We have a plan that we talked about as an organization," Devils interim coach Alain Nasreddine said.

The Devils will have to keep tabs on Carolina's forwards.

Hurricanes right winger Sebastian Aho has 31 goals this season, a career high after 30 a season ago. He had the team's lone goal at Dallas.

Carolina left winger Jordan Martinook isn't expected back for this game after missing the past three games with an upper-body injury.

However, New Jersey could have center Nico Hischier (lower-body injury) back in the lineup. He hasn't played since Feb. 1, but did some on-ice work this week. Hischier is tied for second on the team with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists).

"Not going to rule him out for (Friday)," Nasreddine said. "I'll need to talk to the medical staff."

New Jersey put defenseman Sami Vatanen on injured reserve Thursday, retroactive to Feb. 1.

This is the second of four meetings between the Devils and Hurricanes this season. The Devils won 5-3 on the road Nov. 2 in what was the beginning of Carolina's season-long four-game losing streak.

This will be Carolina's first home game in nearly two weeks. The Hurricanes are 18-9-1 in home games.

This is the Devils' only road assignment in a five-game stretch.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 14, 2020

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