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Devils blank Hurricanes, clinch playoff spot

Apr 1, 2012 - 3:40 AM
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk led an offensive attack with a goal and two assists, as the New Jersey Devils locked up a playoff spot with a 5-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Petr Sykora had a goal and an assist for the Devils, who are back in the postseason after having a string of 13 straight trips to the playoffs snapped last season.

David Clarkson, Ryan Carter and Zach Parise also lit the lamp for New Jersey, which sits sixth in the Eastern Conference with 96 points.

Martin Brodeur made 22 saves for his third shutout of the season.

"Not a lot of emotions, just happy for our group," Devils head coach Peter DeBoer said. "We took a step today to where we want to get to."

Brian Boucher stopped 26-of-31 shots for the Hurricanes, who have lost two in a row.

The Devils got going with 22 seconds left in the first period. Patrik Elias controlled the puck along the goal line and fed a pass in front for Clarkson, whose snap shot beat Boucher.

Kovalchuk's one-timer from the high slot at the 1:44 mark of the middle stanza made it 2-0.

Less than two minutes later, Carter finished off a 2-on-1 rush with a shot from inside the right circle.

New Jersey made it a 4-0 game with 2:30 to go in the second. Elias won a left faceoff draw and Sykora quickly fired a shot on net from the top of the circle.

Parise lit the lamp 1:15 into the third to finalize the scoring.

"I thought we had a decent start in the first five minutes or so, and after that they seemed to take over," Boucher said. "They just kept coming in waves. They got a goal before the end of the period and scored two quick ones in the second and that was pretty much it."

Game Notes

The Devils took three of four games from Carolina this season...Brodeur recorded his 119th career shutout...New Jersey went 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Hurricanes went 0-for-4 on the man advantage.