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The Carolina Hurricanes bounced back last night for a Game 4 road win over the New Jersey Devils, taking a stranglehold on their second round series.
Mackenzie MacEachern entered the game in place of Jesse Puljujarvi, while Frederik Andersen got the start once again, despite a poor showing on Sunday in Game 3.
After the Devils came out flying with a few good chances early, Brett Pesce committed a bad turnover right up the middle to Timo Meier, who beat Andersen only two minutes into the game. Despite not a ton of shots being exchanged through a good chunk of the frame, we saw a heavily transition-based period, with rushes going both ways that were just getting broken up in the neutral zone without a clean entry, for the most part. However, with under three minutes to go, Carolina went up ice after a New Jersey turnover and Jordan Martinook found Martin Necas in front for a redirect to tie the game through 20 minutes.
Carolina’s offense exploded once again in the second period though, first with Martin Necas getting to the front of the net and beating Vitek Vanecek put Carolina ahead. Then only about 2:30 later, Brett Pesce moved down from the point to take a quick pass and pick a corner, extending the lead.
The Hurricanes weren’t done there, and only a minute later, Jesper Fast buried a rebound in-close to put Carolina up by three. Under two minutes after that, Brent Burns wired in a one-timer and made it a 5-1 game, marking Carolina’s fourth goal in a little over five minutes. That ended Vanecek’s night, with Akira Schmid entering in relief.
It didn’t make a difference though, as Jordan Martinook ended up wiring a shot past Schmid in the final minute of the period to make it 6-1.
The Hurricanes pretty much shut down the Devils from there, giving up basically nothing in the way of third period chances. After allowing just five shots in the final frame, Carolina cruised to a 6-1 win for the second time in the series.
With the win, the Hurricanes have put the Devils on the verge of elimination.
Based on the first few minutes, it looked like it could go on to be another rough night for Carolina. However, the Hurricanes did a great job limiting scoring chances as the game went on, really shutting down the Devils through the back 40 minutes in particular.
What a game (and a series) for Jordan Martinook as well. The winger had a goal and two assists, marking his fourth multi-point game in a row. After going pointless through the six-game series against the New York Islanders, Martinook has nine points over the four games against New Jersey. This is all to go along with a relentless forecheck and the fact that Martinook is often the hardest worker on the ice.
In general, Carolina’s offense (which was not at all expected to be a strong suit in this series), has torn the Devils apart. Through four games, Carolina has scored 21 goals.
Frederik Andersen didn’t have a ton of work, but it’s a big bounce-back game for him as well. Coming off a rough Game 3, he was good when called upon last night, making 21 saves in the win.
It’s been a really strange series, where we still have yet to see a close game. We've seen a blowout in all four games, leaving little room for any late game drama.
But now, the Hurricanes return home with a chance to wrap up the series. They were in a similar spot last year against the New York Rangers (albeit a 3-2 lead rather than a 3-1 lead), but couldn’t close out the series. It’s a great opportunity for the Hurricanes to finally get past the second round for the first time since 2019, and they’ll be back in Raleigh for the potential series-clinching game, where they’ve won 11 of 13 games between this postseason and last.
Game 5 is set for tomorrow night.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM MAY
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Hurricanes shut down Devils for convincing Game 1 win
Hurricanes dominate Devils again for 6-1 win in Game 2
Hurricanes suffer blowout loss to Devils in Game 3