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Streaking Carolina rallies to top Devils

THE Carolina Hurricanes scored twice in a third-period rally to beat Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Saturday, for their sixth consecutive victory.

The win lifted the streaking Hurricanes (42-28-7) into fourth place in the tight Eastern Conference race, seven points behind the Devils (47-24-4) who have already secured a playoff spot.

Philadephia (40-23-10) and Pittsburgh (41-27-8) are a point behind Carolina, which collected 31 saves from Cam Ward.

Tuomo Ruutu delivered the winner on a powerplay goal with 3:34 left, three minutes after Sergei Samsonov had leveled the score from the first of two Joe Corvo assists.

The Hurricanes' streak began on March 28 with a 4-2 home victory over New Jersey in which Brodeur did not play.

Elsewhere in the National Hockey League, it was: Penguins 4, Rangers 3; Predators 4, Kings 3 (in overtime); Thrashers 6, Senators 3; Bruins 7, Maple Leafs 5; Sabres 4, Canadiens 3 (in a shootout); Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (in SO); Panthers 6, Stars 3; Blues 4, Blue Jackets 3 (in SO); Flames 3, Wild 2; and Sharks 3, Coyotes 2.

Only goal

In Newark, New Jersey, Patrik Elias scored New Jersey's only goal with 1:51 left in the first period. The loss was the fourth in a row for the Atlantic Division leaders and snapped an 11-game home win streak.

Brodeur, who wound up with 46 saves, had shut out the Hurricanes until they peppered him with 18 shots in the third period. He was pulled with 1:35 remaining.

Devils coach Brent Sutter said the loss made tomorrow's game at the New York Rangers that much more important.

"Every game is a desperate game because you know the opposition is fighting for something. We're still fighting for something," he said. "We have some work ahead of us. We have to dig in here."

In Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 15 games by scoring the go-ahead goal with 10:04 remaining as the Penguins beat Rangers 4-3.

Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal and two assists for the Penguins, who closed out March with their 10th win in 13 games. Pittsburgh is three points ahead of the seventh-place Rangers in the Eastern Conference playoff race.


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