Hurricanes test recent road prowess against Devils
The Carolina Hurricanes have left home, but they haven't missed a beat in becoming one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
They try to keep that going against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday afternoon in Newark, N.J.
"There's a lot of hockey here lately, and we've done a nice job," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We're getting results right now. ... We've been playing this way pretty much all year. The pucks are finding their way in now."
This will be the fourth game of a five-game road swing for Carolina, which has won the first three games.
The Hurricanes are 13-4-1 in their last 18 games, moving to the verge of playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
"Lately, pretty much contributions from everybody," Brind'Amour said. "That's pretty much the recipe for success. They've bought into what we want to do."
The Hurricanes probably believe they can do anything after snapping a 16-game losing streak in games played at Madison Square Garden with Friday night's 3-0 victory against the New York Rangers.
"We're just trying to find a way. That's what this group does. That has been the secret. Whoever we've had to throw in there seems to figure it out," he said.
The Devils haven't been so fortunate lately, losing their third game in a row, 4-2, to the visiting Minnesota Wild on Saturday afternoon. Sunday's game ends a four-game homestand.
New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider returned to action Thursday for the first time in nearly two months in an NHL game after an assignment with Binghamton of the American Hockey League. That gives the Devils another veteran option in goal.
"Just trying to get the body adapted," said Schneider, who also played in Saturday's loss. "I've felt really good in practice since I've been back. ... Hopefully (I'll see more action) sooner rather than later."
Schneider was in goal in a November loss at Carolina. Yet Keith Kinkaid likely will get the call against Carolina.
Devils coach John Hynes said it's good to see that Schneider appears in better form than in the fall.
"He looks much more confident in net," Hynes said. "We're looking for him to come in and play his game and not overthink things."
With the Devils perhaps in the market to unload players prior to the Feb. 25 trade deadline, there's an effort to make sure that doesn't become a distraction.
"As coaches, we try to make sure they focus on what they can do, and that's to play well," Hynes said.
The Hurricanes have received stellar goaltending for the most part during this stretch. Curtis McElhinney was in the nets for the first two games of the trip, recording a shutout at Pittsburgh. Petr Mrazek is coming off a 27-save shutout of the Rangers.
"These guys have both been great," Brind'Amour said. "It gives us a lot of confidence. If we aren't playing our best, they still give us a shot."
Yet the offense has been the source of the biggest improvement for the Hurricanes, who've scored five or more goals in four of their past six victories.
Left winger Brock McGinn has been one of the latest offensive sparks, scoring in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Devils left winger Miles Wood missed Saturday's game with an upper-body injury and has been listed as day-to-day. He sustained the injury Thursday night against the New York Islanders.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 9, 2019