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Reply To: NHL • Thursday Service Plays • 12/3/15

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Preview: New Jersey at Carolina

When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, December 3, 2015

Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

The New Jersey Devils have developed a habit of playing to the level of their competition, a trend they would like to end when the pay a visit to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. After earning three of a possible four points in a home-and-home against NHL-best Montreal, New Jersey suffered a 2-1 home loss to Colorado on Tuesday.

The setback to the Avalanche marked the Devils’ fourth straight regulation defeat to a team with a worse record. “It seems we do real well against the upper teams and against teams right near us we don’t seem to get our game going until it’s too late,” New Jersey captain Andy Greene said. The Hurricanes are glad to close the books on November after winning just three times in 13 games (3-6-4). Carolina has managed to earn at least one point in six of its last seven home games (3-1-3).

TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG Plus (New Jersey), FSN Carolina

ABOUT THE DEVILS (12-10-2): With New Jersey facing a back-to-back against Carolina and Philadelphia, coach John Hynes said backup netminder Keith Kinkaid will get the start in one of the next two games. Kinkaid hasn’t played since a 5-1 defeat at Edmonton on Nov. 20 while Cory Schneider has made five straight starts and permitted two goals or fewer in 12 of 13 appearances dating to Oct. 29. New Jersey’s penalty-killing unit ranks fourth in the league with an 84.7 percent success rate and has snuffed out 29 of its last 32 short-handed situations.

ABOUT THE HURRICANES (8-12-4): Special teams continue to be a nightmare for Carolina, which has the league’s worst power play and the third-worst penalty kill after surrendering seven goals in the past six games while short-handed. “We’ll probably have to continue to look at changes in personnel and do a better job with it,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “It’s definitely something that’s costing us points right now and we’ve got to fix it.” Peters spent Wednesday’s practice working on a power play that is 0-for-11 in the last four games.


1. Hurricanes G Eddie Lack, who has one win in six starts (1-4-1), will get the nod against New Jersey.

2. The Devils are 7-4-0 on the road.

3. Hurricanes D Ryan Murphy, out since Nov. 14 with a concussion, is expected to return to the lineup.

PREDICTION: Devils 3, Hurricanes 2