The Devils' dilemma worked itself out.

When two superstar forwards play left wing on different lines, one can become secondary in the shuffles of ice time, linemates and roles. The Devils' hope is that Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk instead will provide New Jersey with the two-line attack that marks a top team.

The atypical arrangement paid off yesterday. Parise and Kovalchuk combined for three goals in the Devils' first victory of the season, yesterday's 4-2 triumph over the Hurricanes in Newark that evened their record at 1-1.

"When your best players play well, it means your team plays well -- you could see that today," Kovalchuk said. "Zach got two goals and we won. That's the way it should be.

"But it was a team effort. Our [penalty killing] was outstanding again, and [Johan Hedberg] made some great saves at the right time."

Still, goal-scoring will be the issue until the Devils prove otherwise. They were shut out on opening night for the first time in team history, returning from a lost season in which they had the worst offense in the NHL.