Tracking the Storm: Analysis
- The Carolina Hurricanes saw their winless streak extended to five games, as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the New Jersey Devils. Jeff Skinner scored the lone goal for the Hurricanes on the power play in the third period, but it wasn’t enough, as the Devils buried the home team with three goals in the first two periods. “I’m not so much concerned about the scoring. It’s more about how we play. I’m disappointed tonight. It’s time that we don’t piggy back off some of the guys that have been playing well all year. We need more effort from some guys,” head coach Kirk Muller said. “We came out and played well in the first, and we got outworked in the second. They took over, and that’s not going to work.”
- More from Muller on the state of the team: “We’re all about accountability, and some guys have to look in the mirror and get their game going and get the work boots on because that’s what it’s going to take,” he said. “It’s playoff hockey right now. Everything is cranked up, everything is harder and you have to earn your space. If you don’t work and don’t out-work your opponent, you won’t get the same results.”
- Tuomo Ruutu returned to the lineup tonight for the first time this season. He logged 14:20 of ice time (all at even strength) and ranked tied for second on the team in hits with four. “I thought he was really good,” Muller said. “It was too bad that was our outcome as a team tonight, but having him back, I thought he had an impact in the game. He played hard, and that was one of the bright things for tonight.”
- Presented without context, the following statement makes little sense: Martin Brodeur scored a power-play goal. Here’s how it happened: Patrick Dwyer burst into the zone with speed and was hooked by Marek Zidlicky. Brodeur paddled the puck into the corner (not ruled to be complete possession by the officials), and Jordan Staal fetched the puck. He banked a pass off the near boards, and it ended up rolling into the Canes’ empty net, vacated by Ellis when he saw there was a delayed penalty. Since Brodeur was the last Devil to touch the puck, he was awarded the goal, scored on a New Jersey power play.
- That was the game’s first goal, and despite its flukiness, the Hurricanes responded with a flurry of chances on their ensuing power play. They ended the first period having out-shot the Devils 11-4, but the team mustered only seven shots in the final 40 minutes. “It wasn’t our best. It wasn’t good hockey,” Jordan Staal said. “We’ve got to find a way to be better. Everyone in the room has got more, including myself.”
- Bobby Sanguinetti and Ellis both left the game in the third period with injuries. Sanguinetti slid awkwardly into the near boards and did not return. With 50 seconds left in the game, Ellis left the ice favoring his left leg and bleeding. Muller did not have an update on either after the game. “It’s some of our healthy guys needing to step up is more of my concern right now than some of the injured guys,” Muller said.
- The Hurricanes now have four days in between their next game, which is a pivotal divisional match-up with the Winnipeg Jets. The long break could certainly prolong the sting of the team’s current slump, but it will also make the Canes hungrier to get back on track. “We’re going to work for a couple of days. Tomorrow we’ll practice, and then we’ll get a couple days to recover, but we’ve got work to do. We’ve got some things to fix. But I don’t think it’s systematic at all,” Muller said. “You’ve got to work, you’ve got to earn it and if you do, you get your ice time. You’ve got to help the guys that have been going every night. That’s the bottom line.”
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Martin Brodeur scored his third career goal and made 17 saves in his first game in a month, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.
Brodeur had been out since Feb. 21 with a pinched nerve in his upper back and neck. New Jersey went 3-8-2 in his absence.
Peter Harrold, Adam Henrique and Andrei Loktionov also scored to help the Devils snap a three-game losing streak.
Jeff Skinner had the Hurricanes' lone goal while Dan Ellis made 19 saves.
Carolina has dropped five in a row to fall from the top of the Southeast Division. The Hurricanes have been outscored 17-6 during that stretch.
Carolina and New Jersey opened the night tied in the Eastern Conference standings with 32 points apiece.
Brodeur got credit for the game's first goal when Carolina's Jordan Staal passed the puck back to the point from behind the net with a delayed penalty call pending against New Jersey's Marek Zidlicky.
The pass missed intended target Tim Gleason and bounced off the boards near center ice. Ellis had already skated toward the bench because of the delayed penalty and couldn't get back in time to prevent the puck from sliding into the net.
Because he was the last Devils player to touch the puck, Brodeur got credit for the score. With Carolina's Alexander Semin in the penalty box, it counted as a power-play goal.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Brodeur is the first goalie to score a power-play goal since Evgeni Nabokov for San Jose in 2002.
Brodeur made a series of tough saves after his goal, but after the Devils weathered that initial flurry, the Hurricanes had few quality chances for the remainder of the game. Carolina's 18 shots were a season low.
New Jersey broke the game open with two goals in a 46-second span in the second period.
Henrique scored after Adam Larsson's wrist shot from the point hit Ilya Kovalchuk in front of the Hurricanes' net. Henrique got his stick on the puck and lofted it past Ellis.
Harrold then made it made it 3-0 after Patrik Elias' shot from the slot was blocked. The puck bounced to Harrold, who backhanded it past Ellis from the left side.
Skinner spoiled Brodeur's bid for a shutout when his slap shot went in for a power-play goal with 8:33 left in the game.
Loktionov scored on a backhander with 3:06 remaining.
NOTES: Tuomo Ruutu played his first game of the season for the Hurricanes after undergoing hip surgery in December. . Carolina defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti appeared to injure his left arm after being tripped by New Jersey's Harri Pesonen into the boards with 9:15 remaining. He skated immediately to the dressing room and did not return. . Ellis left the game with 50.2 seconds left after sustaining a cut.