A season-long six-game road trip for the Carolina Hurricanes began as if it might end up sinking their playoff hopes. But the Hurricanes can close out the jaunt Thursday by further solidifying their standing in the Eastern Conference wild-card race when they visit the New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J.
Both teams were off Wednesday after playing Tuesday, when the Hurricanes beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2, and the Devils fell to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2.
The win for the Hurricanes (38-25-5, 81 points) was their third in a row and vaulted them into a tie for the Eastern Conference wild-card spots with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The two teams are one point ahead of the New York Islanders, who fell out of the East's final playoff spot with a 5-4 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.