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NHL PLAYOFFS

Eastern Conference Preview Capsules

April 11, 2001|ROY JURGENS

No. 1 NEW JERSEY

vs.

No. 8 CAROLINA

Best of seven

Thursday: at New Jersey, 4:30 p.m.

Sunday: at New Jersey, noon

Tuesday: at Carolina, 4:30 p.m.

April 18: at Carolina, 4:30 p.m.

April 20: *at New Jersey, 4:30 p.m.

April 22: *at Carolina, noon

April 24: *at New Jersey, 4:30 p.m.

* if necessary; all times Pacific

THE BREAKDOWN

* Team records: New Jersey 48-19-12-3, Carolina 38-32-9-3 .

* Season series: New Jersey, 2-1-1.

* Coaches: NJ: Larry Robinson, 16-11 (.593) in playoffs. CAR: Paul Maurice, 2-4 (.333) in playoffs.

* Scouting report: Led by captain Scott Stevens, the defending champion Devils are the most complete team in the NHL. Coach Larry Robinson employs three scoring lines and a checking line, keeping his many talented forwards fresh and focused. Patrik Elias and Alexander Mogilny are the forwards the Hurricanes need to be most wary of, but seven Devils scored 20 or more goals, the most in the NHL. John Madden may be the best penalty-killing forward in the league. During its recent 13-game winning streak, New Jersey outscored opponents, 61-25. Carolina must combine the experience of veterans Rod Brind'Amour and Ron Francis, with the youthful energy of Jeff O'Neill and Shane Willis. The Hurricanes have very little depth, and look for the Devils to take advantage of defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh's frequent absent-minded forays deep into the opposition's zone.

* Goaltending: The Devils' Martin Brodeur is one of the premier goalies in the league, and his two Stanley Cup rings are proof that he only gets tougher come playoff time. Brodeur led the league in wins (42) for the fourth consecutive season. Carolina's Arturs Irbe has been a giant killer, leading an eighth-seeded San Jose team to an upset over top-seeded Detroit in 1994. Irbe started 77 games for the Hurricanes and may not have much left.

* Team leaders: NJ: Alexander Mogilny (43 goals); Patrik Elias (54 assists, 96 points). CAR: Jeff O'Neill (41 goals, 67 points); Ron Francis (50 assists).

* Late-season additions: NJ--D Sean O'Donnell; C Bob Corkum. CAR--LW Scott Pellerin.

* Injury report: NJ--RW Turner Stevenson (ankle) day to day. CAR--None.

*--*

THE MATCHUPS NJ CAR Goals scored 295 (1) 212 (19) Goals allowed 195 (T5) 225 (16) Power play pct. 22.9 (1) 18.8 (8 Penalty killing 84.7 (11) 87.2 (2) Goals against avg. 2.34 (5) 2.71 (16) Save percentage .904 (14) .898 (19) Avg. penalty min. 15.1 (16) 13.2 (7) Short-handed goals 9 (T12) 6 (T23)

*--*

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