Tonight's 4-2 victory over the Devils was easily the Carolina Hurricanes biggest win of this young season. Not only does it clinch a 4-1-1 record on their road trip, but they were also able to get a win over a team that has been at the top of the Eastern Conference for most of the year. As expected, the win did not come easy as they found themselves down 1-0 in the first period again despite outplayed New Jersey in most of that frame. They managed to battle back again and tie the game early in the second period on the back of a powerplay goal by Jussi Jokinen. Patrick Dwyer would then provide the go-ahead goal in the dying minutes of the frame by deflecting a Jay Harrison shot past Brodeur.
A large reason why the Hurricanes gained this lead was because they were forechecking hard and skating circles around the Devils during the first 40 minutes of the game. They gained a big territorial advantage over New Jersey during that time and it was hard to tell that they were playing the second half of a back-to-back game. Then the third period happened. Carolina began to look tired, were getting pinned into their own end, lost one of their best defensemen in Joni Pitkanen and gave up an early goal to Ryan Carter which tied the game.
Carolina's dominance at even strength had all but faded by then, but they received some help from their special teams units, which have been rather cold as of late. First, they were able to successfully kill off Joe Corvo's penalty early in the period and would then get a huge powerplay goal from Jiri Tlusty to give the Canes a 3-2 lead. From then on, the Canes basically did the best they could to hang onto the lead by limiting the Devils scoring opportunities and they just managed to survive with some help from goaltender Cam Ward.
The Hurricanes definitely left everything all on the ice tonight and even if they just managed to get by, it was great to see them pull out a win all things considered. I'm sure many people would have been happy if they only earned a point in the standings with this being their third game in four days and the final game of a long road trip, but the Canes had their sights set higher and managed to achieve it.
Winning four out of six games in this stretch of the schedule is no easy feat at all, so this could hopefully lead to greater things down the line for this team.no comments