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Devils, 'Canes begin home-and-home between new rivals

( - The Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils will kick off their Metropolitan Division rivalry with a home-and-home series, as the teams meet for the first of two straight tilts in Wednesday's matchup at Prudential Center.

This home-and-home set, which begins tonight in New Jersey before ending Friday in Raleigh, will consist of the first two of four scheduled meetings between these clubs in 2013-14. The teams are both part of the Metro Division after the NHL's realignment plan that went into place at the start of this season.

Carolina has claimed three of the past five meetings with the Devils, but Jersey has taken seven of the past 10 encounters overall. The Hurricanes also had lost seven in a row in New Jersey before posting a 4-2 decision at the Prudential Center on Feb. 12 of last season.

The Devils are 4-3-2 as the host this season and Carolina is just 3-6-1 on the road.

The Hurricanes were last in action on Sunday when they notched a 4-1 home win over the visiting Ottawa Senators. Cam Ward posted 35 saves to earn his first victory since Oct. 19. Ward returned last week from a groin injury that had kept him out for almost a month, but he was 0-1-1 in his first two starts before beating the Sens on Sunday.

Eric Staal posted a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes, who snapped a four-game slide with the win. Tuomo Ruutu, Elias Lindholm, and Patrick Dwyer all scored in the victory.

"If we keep working like that, guys are going to come alive and we're going to win some hockey games," Dwyer said of his team's effort.

The Devils enter Wednesday's clash having lost two straight on the heels of a three-game winning streak. New Jersey lost both games in regulation and was most recently handed a 3-1 defeat Monday in Winnipeg.

Patrik Elias scored the only goal for the Devils, while Martin Brodeur gave up two goals on 21 shots in the loss.

"We just didn't make many good passes or challenge to much one-and-one," said Elias. "We have to do those things if we want to create some opportunities."

Cory Schneider expects to get the start in net for the Devils tonight and is 1-1-0 with a 2.51 goals against average in two career outings against Carolina.

Ward is 8-11-02 with a 2.71 GAA in 21 regular-season contests versus New Jersey.

11/27 11:09:32 ET

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