Tracking the Storm: Analysis
-- In what seemed like the blink of an eye, the Carolina Hurricanes squandered an opportunity to sweep a home-and-home set with a divisional opponent, as they dropped a 5-2 decision to the New Jersey Devils. The Canes carried a 2-1 lead into the third period, all the way up to the 8:43 mark. Then, in a matter of eight minutes, it was 5-2 in favor of the visitors. “It’s disappointing because we played 50 minutes tonight where we had the lead,” head coach Kirk Muller said. “It’s a lesson. You’ve got to play 60 in this game. You can’t take a shift off, and you can’t have passengers. We had some guys tonight that weren’t at their best, and you’re not going to win hockey games when you don’t have all guys rolling every night.”
-- On Wednesday night in New Jersey, the Canes staved off a late two-goal push from New Jersey to emerge victories by a score of 4-3. Tonight, they couldn’t match the Devils’ battle level in the final 20 minutes. “When they get one (goal), we’ve got to do all we can to slow their momentum,” said defenseman Justin Faulk, who led the Canes with 25:33 of ice time. “We can’t let them get two, and we especially can’t let them get three and four. It’s something we need to learn from.”
-- Muller, simply, on what New Jersey did and what the Canes could not do in the third period: “They came out with more loose pucks, they were stronger on the puck and they created more turnovers,” he said. “It just goes back to the whole part of the game where we didn’t have enough battle level to win the game tonight.”
-- As Muller said after the morning skate, New Jersey is a team that can suffocate opponents defensively. The Canes only managed 18 shots tonight, a new season-low. Their two goals came in their second period, which was also their most potent period shot-wise (8). “We didn’t generate enough on the forecheck, and they’re a team that can counter pretty good on you, and that’s what they did,” forward Jeff Skinner said.
-- Skinner tallied for the first time since returning from an upper-body injury, as he corralled a deflected Ryan Murphy shot and put it top-shelf past a sliding Cory Schneider. Five minutes later, Jordan Staal took a home-run stretch pass from Faulk and finished on the breakaway. The Canes have now outscored opponents 28-21 in the middle frame.
-- Again the power play comes into the conversation, as New Jersey scored the game-deciding tally on the man advantage, while the Canes failed to put the Devils in a two-goal hole early in the third period on a power play of their own. That’s not to say there weren’t chances – Eric Staal had a brilliant chance on the doorstep that Schneider turned away with his pad – but the Canes could not convert and were 0-for-3 overall. “We’ve got to execute on the power play,” Skinner said.
-- Sunday and Wednesday were, on the whole, consistent efforts for the Hurricanes, as they collected four of a possible four points and outscored their opponents 8-4. That needed to continue into tonight, but for whatever reason, it didn’t for the most part. “This league is all about consistency. You can’t turn it on and off,” Muller said. “When we’ve got 20 guys playing, four lines going and six D, and we have a high compete level, we’re going to win hockey games.”
-- The Canes and Devils are now even again in the standings, both at 10-10-5 with 25 points. Carolina was previously undefeated in regulation when leading after two periods; they are now 6-1-1 in that scenario.
-- Perhaps fortunately, the Canes get right back at it on Sunday with a 1 p.m. matinee against the Vancouver Canucks, which will begin a stretch of seven of eight games versus Western Conference opponents. “We didn’t respond enough. We didn’t fight back,” Harrison said of tonight’s effort. “I don’t think we’re going to let five minutes in the third period deter us from continuing to build something here.”
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The New Jersey Devils scored four third-period goals to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 on Friday.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak and earned a split between the teams in a home-and-home series. Carolina won 4-3 at New Jersey on Wednesday.
Devils goaltender Cory Schneider stopped 17 shots for his third win of the season.
With Carolina protecting a 2-1 lead in the third period, a shot by Devils forward Andrei Loktionov from the slot at 8:43 appeared to be stopped by Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward but shot leaked through and crossed the goal line. Adam Henrique put New Jersey ahead 3-2 on the power play at 12:02, scoring from the slot.
Dainius Zubrus extend the lead to two goals at 13:52 on a hard shot from between the circles, and Jaromir Jagr followed his rebound for his 11th goal of the season with less than five minutes remaining.
Jagr's goal was the 692nd of his NHL career, tying Steve Yzerman at eighth on the all-time list.
The Hurricanes scored twice in the second period twice to take a 2-1 lead. Jeff Skinner fired a wrister to the far post at 1:53. Skinner was camped in the left circle and gathered a Ryan Murphy shot that deflected off a New Jersey stick in the slot. The goal was the first for Skinner in five games since returning from an upper-body injury, and his fourth of the season.
Carolina took the lead at 14:53 when Justin Faulk set up Jordan Staal from behind the goal line. With the teams skating 4-on-4, Staal took the pass straight through center ice and beat Schneider with a forehand over his glove.
New Jersey scored 18:20 mark into the first period, defenseman Mark Fayne's his first of the season. After Zubrus floated a pass across the top of the circles, Fayne jumped into the play and chipped a shot past Ward, using Jagr as a screen.
The Hurricanes played without defenseman Andrej Sekera, who has an upper-body injury. In 25 games, Sekera had 13 points, second in team scoring.