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Hurricanes dominate Devils again for 6-1 win in Game 2

May 6, 2023, 3:13 PM ET [6 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The Carolina Hurricanes have gone up 2-0 for the second series in a row, defeating the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in Game 2 last night.

The Hurricanes did start the game with a couple penalties to put themselves in a tough spot, facing an extended 5-on-3 early, but managed to escape thanks to a post and a couple saves from Frederik Andersen. After killing them off though, the Hurricanes started to generate the bulk of the shots in the frame and had a late power play for themselves, but the period ended scoreless.

However, the middle frame was where things really picked up. Carolina started the second period on the power play thanks to a late first period penalty to Jonas Siegenthaler and managed to capitalize. Jack Drury won a battle and got the puck back to Shayne Gostisbehere, who then found Jesperi Kotkaniemi all alone in the slot for the forward to squeak the puck through Akira Schmid. The Hurricanes had a flurry of chances right afterwards, with Paul Stastny, Stefan Noesen, Brent Burns and Jesse Puljujarvi all getting great opportunities, but some big saves from Schmid kept it a one-goal game.

Carolina kept pressing though and only a couple minutes after opening the scoring, Kotkaniemi managed to beat Schjmid from in-close, making it 2-0. With the middle frame being played completely at even strength, the Devils did start getting back into the game and halting Carolina’s momentum though. But with under three minutes to go in the frame, Jordan Staal got in alone and went to the backhand on a deke to score, extending the lead once again.

It then looked like Carolina may have made it a 4-0 game right afterwards, but the goal was waved off as a result of goalie interference. Only shortly after the waved off goal though, Schmid misplayed the puck in the final minute of the period and while Jaccob Slavin hit the post on the ensuing opportunity, the puck got over to Martin Necas, who beat Schmid to give Caroilina a four-goal lead through 40 minutes.

Miles Wood did get one back for New Jersey early in the third period to break Andersen’s shut out and make it a 4-1 game. However, after a penalty kill later in the frame and two goals within a minute from Jordan Martinook and Stefan Noesen against Vitek Vanecek, who came in to replace Schmid for the second game in a row, the Hurricanes cruised to a 6-1 win.

It’s a second straight dominant victory for the Hurricanes on home ice, who now have a chance to head to New Jersey and take a stranglehold on the series.

Carolina has outsourced New Jersey 11-2 over the first two games of the series and once again, the Hurricanes did a good job limiting chances at even strength and not being exploited by the Devils’ speed.

The Hurricanes continue to get scoring by committee as well, with each of the top three lines chipping in last night. While Sebastian Aho is the only player with more than six points in the postseason (currently at nine), seven different forwards have between four and six points across the eight games.

The physicality also continues to pick up, with a lot of hits being exchanged early on. Jesperi Kotkaniemi levelled Nico Hischier at one point, while Jesper Fast crushed Ryan Graves on a hit behind the net, with Graves then heading to the locker room. Despite the physicality though, the game didn’t necessarily get overly chippy, with incidents after the whistle still fairly minimal.

It seemed like Akira Schmid could be a factor after his great series against the New York Rangers, but the Huricanes have had no trouble solving him. He’s been pulled in both games, so you have to wonder if the Devils go back to Vanecek. I was skeptical about using Andersen given his history of allowing some bad at key times, but he’s been rock solid for Carolina. With just three goals against in the three games he’s played (while facing 81 shots), Andersen’s holding a .963 playoff save percentage and 0.97 goals against average.

The Hurricanes now head to New Jersey for Games 3 and 4, but despite their dominant display, the series is far from over. Carolina needs to take at least one of the next two games to really put themselves in a good spot. Plus, we saw the Devils are capable of rebounding from a two-game deficit.

But it’s essentially been a perfect start to the series for the Hurricanes – Game 3 is set for Sunday afternoon.



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