Devils deny Canes

Cam Ward returns in goal for Carolina after a monthlong recuperation from a leg laceration.

The Associated PressDecember 10, 2009 

— When defenseman Andy Greene played his first professional game with Lowell of the American Hockey League in 2006, he scored two goals - and hadn't accomplished the feat since.

Until Wednesday night.

Greene had consecutive goals for the surging New Jersey Devils in a 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

"It's pretty amazing," the 27-year-old Greene said. "It feels pretty good to be out there, and it's been a lot of fun. I hope we can keep it going."

Patrik Elias and Rob Niedermayer also scored for the Devils, who have won four straight and seven of eight. Martin Brodeur made 21 saves but remained tied with Terry Sawchuk for the most shutouts in NHL history at 103.

Goaltender Cam Ward returned to the Canes net and made 27 saves. He missed 13 games after suffering a laceration on his upper leg on Nov. 7 against Columbus.

Greene scored the second and third goals of the game, giving New Jersey (21-7-1) a 3-0 lead before Carolina scored twice in a span of 1:58 to cut it to 3-2 in the second period.

Brandon Sutter, the son of former Devils coach and current Calgary coach Brent Sutter, had the first goal for the Hurricanes (7-18-5). Tuomo Ruutu added a power-play goal.

Elias scored the first goal, giving him 299 for his career, and Niedermayer's empty-netter sealed it with 5 seconds left - ending Carolina's modest two-game winning streak.

"Until the shift where we took the penalty in the third period, I really liked the way we played," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "We've played well for about a month now. We don't have a whole lot to show for it."

The Devils got a fluke goal in the first. Elias took a pass from Niclas Bernfors and skated in on the right side. His attempted backhand pass back to Bernfors was broken up by Carolina defenseman Aaron Ward, but the puck caromed off Ward's skate and into the net at 11:11.

New Jersey increased the lead to 2-0 late in the period when Greene skated into the Carolina zone untouched and unleashed a rocket slap shot from the blue line past Cam Ward.

"I felt a little bit uncomfortable at times in the first period, but as the game went along I thought I settled down and played better in the second and the third," Cam Ward said. "By the end of the game, I felt like my normal self."

Early in the second Greene scored again, this time on a power play. With Ray Whitney off for high-sticking, Greene skated into the Hurricanes' zone, got knocked down, but was able to get up in time to knock in a rebound of Zach Parise's shot for his fifth goal of the season.

The Hurricanes dominated the third period but couldn't score. They had two good shots with two extra men on the ice in the closing minute, but Niedermayer put the game away for New Jersey.

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