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Hurricanes Vs. Devils: New Jersey Keeps Winning, Keeps Thinking Playoffs

In 2011, the New Jersey Devils have a better record than all but one team in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately for them, this is the 2010-2011 season, and that first part wasn't all that hot for 'em.

They continued their resurgence and kept their playoff hopes alive with yet another win on Wednesday night, though, holding off a late charge by the Carolina Hurricanes to win 3-2. Ilya Kovalchuk scored for the Devils in the first period, followed by quick goals from Brian Rolston and Patrik Elias in the third period to give New Jersey a 3-0 lead. 

Then, Carolina turned on the jets. Sergei Samsonov scored with about 12 minutes left in the third and with an empty net late in the period, Tuomo Ruutu added another to cut the lead to 3-2. With just five seconds left, however, it was too late. Johan Hedberg was fantastic for the Devils, as SB Nation's In Lou We Trust alluded to.

The Devils began to look sloppy and if it wasn't for Johan Hedberg, the Devils could have been burned earlier.  That said, the Devils did keep Carolina a little honest late and only allowed one more late in a desparate attack by the visitors. 

I'm sure many fans are pleased with the win.  I think the result is fair. However, Jacques Lemaire should probably get on his team to play more complete periods.  Doing well for the first 7-9 minutes or so in each period isn't likely to lead to positive results against the Rangers on Friday or at Carolina on Saturday. 

New Jersey is still 12 points back of 8th place in the East, the spot currently occupied by Carolina.