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Hurricanes take on Devils in a playoff rematch

Oct 6, 2006 - 1:25 PM New Jersey (0-0-0) at Carolina (0-0-1) 7:00 pm EDT

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) - After defeating the New Jersey Devils in last year's playoffs, the Carolina Hurricanes will look for continued success against their conference rivals.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Hurricanes host the Devils in New Jersey's season opener on Friday.

The Devils, who finished 46-27-9 last season, were eliminated in five games in the Eastern Conference semifinals by a Carolina team that eventually hoisted its first Stanley Cup.

In 2005-2006, New Jersey ended the season on an 11-game winning streak to win the Atlantic Division and swept the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs before losing to Carolina.

It was an extremely tumultuous campaign for New Jersey with star center Patrik Elias sidelined with Hepatitis A and head coach Larry Robinson suffering with his own health concerns. General Manager Lou Lamoriello took over behind the bench, which sparked the Devils' late-season charge.

The Devils are led by Elias, who signed a seven-year, $42 million contract in the offseason and was named the seventh captain in team history on Thursday. He recorded 16 goals and 29 assists last season in limited action.

Carolina started its season by raising its Stanley Cup championship banner to the rafters on Wednesday before absorbing a 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres in a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals. Eric Staal and Erik Cole scored in the defeat.

The Devils and Hurricanes split their four regular-season matchups last season.

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