Carolina won 4-1 (Game 3 of 5)

Carolina won 4-1

Game 1: Saturday, May 6th
Game 2: Monday, May 8th
Game 3: Wednesday, May 10th
Game 4: Saturday, May 13th
Game 5: Sunday, May 14th

7:00 PM ET, May 10, 2006

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey

1 2 3 T
CAR 2 1 03
NJ 1 1 02

R. Brind'Amour (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

C. Ward (Hurricanes - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .933

P. Elias (Devils - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Carolina at New Jersey 7:00 pm EDT

Carolina at New Jersey 7:00 pm EDT Eastern Conference semifinals Hurricanes lead 2-0

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- In the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, everything went right for the New Jersey Devils. But through two games against the Carolina Hurricanes little has gone in their favor.

Facing a two games to none deficit in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Devils are hoping a return home can get them going again Wednesday night as they host the Hurricanes in Game Three.

For five weeks nothing could go wrong for the Devils. They won their final 11 regular season games and clinched the Atlantic Division title on the final day of the season by rallying from a three-goal deficit in Montreal.

That carried over to the quarterfinals as the Devils buried the New York Rangers in four games. They outscored their cross-river rivals 17-4, went 8-for-27 on the power play and scored 11 goals on special teams.

But so far against the second-seeded Hurricanes, the Devils have not approached that dominant level. They were routed 6-0 in Game One on Saturday and made two costly mistakes en route to a 3-2 overtime loss in Game Two on Monday.

New Jersey took a 2-1 lead when Scott Gomez scored on a deflection with 21 seconds remaining in regulation. Although John Madden won a center-ice faceoff on the next shift, the puck wound up behind New Jersey's net where Justin Williams gathered it and fed Eric Staal for the game-tying goal with three seconds left.

The other mistake was a turnover near the boards by defenseman Ken Klee that led to defenseman Niclas Wallin's game-winner 3:09 into overtime, which was his third postseason overtime goal.

Wallin's goal put the Devils in a two games to none hole for the fifth time in franchise history. The only time New Jersey has rallied from a 2-0 hole was in the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Bruins.

It is the second time New Jersey has dropped the first two games to the Hurricanes. In 2002, the Devils dropped a pair of 2-1 decisions in Carolina before scoring seven times in the next two games at home.

Carolina won that series in six games and is up two games to none for the third time in franchise history. In the 1987 Adams Division semifinals as the Hartford Whalers, they won the first two games but dropped the next four to the Quebec Nordiques.

The Hurricanes have replaced the Devils as the NHL's hottest team. Since replacing goaltender Martin Gerber with rookie Cam Ward, following two losses to Montreal in the quarterfinals, the Hurricanes have won six in a row, with three of those wins coming in overtime.

Ward made 14 of his 21 saves in the first period and joined Tiny Thompson and Jean-Sebastien Giguere as the only rookie goaltenders to win their first seven postseason starts.

Ward, who idolizes Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, has stopped 167 of 177 shots in the postseason.

Game Four will be Saturday afternoon in New Jersey.