Hurricanes try to salvage finale of homestand vs. Devils

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to salvage the finale of a five-game homestand on Monday night as they take on the struggling New Jersey Devils.

The Hurricanes have lost two straight and three of four on this residency, including a 3-1 setback to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. Cam Ward came up with 19 saves in his club's sixth loss in eight games overall.

Jay McClement netted his first goal of the season in the loss as Carolina fell to 5-6-1 as the hosting team this season.

"It was starting to wear on me a little bit, so it's nice to get it out of the way, but more importantly, we just didn't do the things we needed to do to get the win tonight. That would have been a little sweeter," said McClement.

Making matters worse for the Hurricanes is that forward Eric Staal was hit on the foot by a slap shot from teammate Justin Faulk late in the third period. His status for this game is unknown.

Staal is tied with Riley Nash and Faulk for the team lead with 15 points.

Ward had missed Carolina's previous game with a lower-body injury, so backup Anton Khudobin figures to get the start tonight as the 'Canes play on consecutive days. He is 1-1-0 with a 3.96 goals against average and .861 save percentage in three meetings with the Devils.

Slumping New Jersey has lost eight of 10 and fell to 4-10-2 in its past 16 with a 4-1 setback to the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Patrik Elias had the goal and Cory Schneider allowed three tallies on 28 shots faced.

Elias was returning from a groin injury and aggravated the ailment, while forward Mike Cammalleri suffered a pulled muscle in his butt. Neither made the trip to Carolina, nor did Travis Zajac (lower body/illness) or Adam Larsson (flu).

"It's disappointing we weren't the better team," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said after the loss to the Caps. "They were better on the power play than we were. They were better on the penalty kill than we were. Their goalie was better than our goalie. It was across the board.

"Injuries really don't matter. Nobody cares. You have to find a way."

While the Devils are leaving a host of players behind, forward Martin Havlat did make the trip. He has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury and is questionable for tonight.

Havlat has two goals and six points in 14 games on the season.

The Devils return home to host the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, so it is unknown if Schneider will start tonight or if backup Scott Clemmensen will get a start.

Schneider, who has started all but one of New Jersey's 27 games this season, is 3-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA and .933 save percentage in four meetings with the Hurricanes. Clemmensen is 3-6-0 against them with a 3.07 GAA and .896 save percentage in 12 games (7 starts).

The Devils have won three straight and 10 of their last 14 versus the Hurricanes, including three in a row as the road team.