On January 8th, the Devils trailed the New York Rangers by 31 points in the standings. Flash forward to February 19th, they trail the Rangers by only 14 points, and the 8th place Carolina Hurricanes by 12.

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Ilya’s finally living up to his contract, recording a point in nine straight games

Led by Ilya Kovalchuk and Johan Hedberg between the pipes, the Devils are looking to make one of the most improbable runs to the playoffs in league history. Kovy has scored in four straight and recorded a point in nine straight games. Hedberg recorded a shut out last night, stopping all 16 shots the Rangers sent his way.

While the Devils are an astonishing 14-1-2 in their last 17, they still have quite an uphill battle to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs. Even with their fantastic play they are 13th in the conference and would need to jump five teams to earn the 8th seed and play the best team in hockey, the Philadelphia Flyers.

Tonight’s game at Carolina is the last time these two teams will see each other this season, but the Devils have an opportunity with a win to cut the points lead to 10. After tonight though, comes the true test. The Devils play six of their next nine on the road.

If the Devils continue this hot streak, and do earn a playoff berth though, nobody is going to want to go to The Rock and face the hottest. team. in. hockey.