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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Anton Khudobin finally got a much-needed win and so did the Carolina Hurricanes.
Chris Terry scored the only goal of the shootout and Khudobin came up big late in winning for the first time this season as the goal-starved Hurricanes defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Tuesday night.
"I wasn't frustrated at all, but it was a tough time for me," Khudobin said after stopping 18 shots and three more in the shootout to improve to 1-8-2 this season. "I was just trying to focus on my game and trying to get the win. It had been a long time, almost three months. It wasn't like the hockey gods didn't want me to get a win. But I'm happy it happened. I thought that maybe it wasn't going to happen this year."
Ron Hainsey scored in the third period to tie the game for Carolina, which won for only the second time in 10 games (2-7-1). The Hurricanes have just 13 goals during that stretch and Hainsey's appeared to go in off his leg on a night when Carolina fired 33 shots at Cory Schneider.
"The first 5 to 10 minutes of the third period, we carried the play, so if you're doing that, you have a good chance to get the equalizer," Hainsey said. "We were getting good shots. Schneider just kept making saves."
Hainsey had a chance to win the game in overtime on a breakaway after serving a penalty that carried into the extra session. He skated in alone on Schneider but shot the puck into the goalie's pads.
Khudobin, beaten 1-0 by the New York Rangers on Sunday, kept the Hurricanes in the game in overtime, stopping Adam Henrique right in front with roughly 4 seconds to go. The goalie then denied Scott Gomez, Mike Cammalleri and Henrique in the shootout before Terry beat Schneider with a forehand.
Stephen Gionta scored for the Devils, who are 3-8-5 in their last 16 games. Schneider made 32 saves.
"I know that no one wants to hear excuses and I am not going to make any, but I am definitely not going to throw our guys under the bus," said Devils coach Pete DeBoer, who had seven regulars out with injuries or illness. "Guys are trying. It's unfortunate we didn't get two points. Our goaltender was excellent. We need to regroup and get some bodies back."
Carolina, which came into the third period with a 21-8 shots advantage, tied the game on its 29th shot. Defenseman Andrej Sekera took a shot from the left point that hit off the leg of Hainsey and went in for his first goal of the season.
Gionta gave the Devils the lead at 13:32 of the first period with a shot on a counterattack that appeared to hit off the stick of Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan and eluded Khudobin.
The Hurricanes dominated the second period, outshooting New Jersey 15-3, only to be denied by Schneider. His best save came in the closing minutes with a glove stop on Brandan Woods from point-blank range after a point shot ended up on the forward's stick between the circles.
Woods was making his NHL debut after starting the season in Charlotte (AHL).
Khudobin was stellar in the third period. He stopped Tuomo Ruutu twice, Henrique once and later made a big stop against Jon Merrill with New Jersey on a late power play.
"We wanted to finish strong before the break, so we're disappointed for sure," Cammalleri said. "We need a big second half for sure."
Schneider almost stole a game from Carolina for the second time. He stopped 39 shots in a 2-1 New Jersey win on Dec. 8.
NOTES: Ruutu got an assist on Gionta's goal, his first point in 15 games. ... Gomez played in his 999th NHL game. ... Cammalleri returned to the lineup after missing four games with a lower-body injury. ... Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has one goal in his last 15 games. ... After missing eight games with the mumps, Devils D Adam Larsson returned to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 2. ...Devils forwards Patrik Elias and Martin Havlat were ill and did not play. They are being tested for mumps.
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