Jiri Tlusty scored a pair of third-period goals to break a tie game, as the Carolina Hurricanes snapped the New Jersey Devils' five-game win streak with a 4-2 victory at the Prudential Center.
Tlusty, who racked up two goals and two assists to spark a final-period rally in Monday's 6-4 triumph over the New York Islanders, netted the eventual game- winner on the power play with 12:35 remaining before adding an empty-netter in the waning seconds to help the Hurricanes close out a successful six-game road trip with four wins in their last five tests.
Eric Staal assisted on both of Tlusty's markers and Cam Ward made 26 saves for Carolina, which also received goals from Jussi Jokinen and Patrick Dwyer.
"It's been a long trip, 12 days, and to finish against the first-place Devils and walk away with two points is a huge confidence-builder to our team," said Ward.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Ryan Carter each scored for New Jersey, which was coming off a home-and-home sweep of Pittsburgh over the weekend. Martin Brodeur stopped 21-of-24 shots in the loss.
"Give [Carolina] credit, they came out and they were skating and getting the puck in deep and were on us all night," said Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador. "You can't take anything away from them."
With the game tied at 2-2 and Devils defenseman Mark Fayne sent off for an interference call, Staal skated behind the New Jersey net before feeding Tlusty for a wrister that caromed off Brodeur's shoulder and across the line at the 7:25 mark of the final period. The score came just seconds after the Devils' Patrik Elias narrowly missed on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush.
"Big power-play goal, which is what we needed right there," said Staal. "We just kind of played solid after that."
Staal would be penalized for hooking Stephen Gionta shortly afterward, but the Hurricanes were able to kill off the resulting power play and the Devils had their fate practically sealed when Andy Greene committed a tripping infraction with just 2:37 left.
Ward still needed to make a key save on Gionta's re-direction attempt with under a minute remaining, however, before Tlusty dumped the puck into a vacated net with 34 seconds to play to end New Jersey's hopes.
Carolina, which allowed four power-play goals in Monday's win over the Islanders, outshot New Jersey by a 10-6 count in the opening period but entered the first intermission down a goal after failing once more in a man- down situation.
With Jokinen in the box for tripping, Kovalchuk sent a screaming shot from the high slot that landed just under the crossbar with Ward screened in front by the Devils' David Clarkson. The goal came with just over four minutes to go in the initial session.
Jokinen atoned for the penalty less than two minutes into the second period by one-timing a feed from Joe Corvo into a wide-open net with the Hurricanes on the power play. The tally ended a stretch of 16 straight games without a goal for the veteran center dating back to last season.
Carolina moved in front for the first time with just 1:31 remaining in the frame, when Dwyer tipped a Jay Harrison blast past Brodeur to snap the 1-1 stalemate.
The lead wouldn't last long, however. With just 1:34 elapsed in the third stanza, Carter stole the puck from Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk in front of the Carolina net and snuck a backhander through Ward's pads to knot the score at 2-2.
The Hurricanes snapped a string of seven straight losses at the Prudential Center since a 2-1 win there on Mar. 28, 2009 ... Staal extended his point streak to 10 games and has amassed eight goals and eight assists during the run, while Tlusty has racked up five goals over Carolina's last three outings ... The Hurricanes went 2-for-5 on the power play after failing on six chances with the man advantage in their previous two tilts ... Kovalchuk has now accumulated 35 goals and 72 points in 57 career games against Carolina ... The Devils have scored at least one power-play goal in six consecutive contests.