The 4th line started the game for the Devils. The Canes won the faceoff and got the puck into the zone. There was a scramble in front. The Devils cleared it away but the Canes got it back and the Devils left Kotakaniemi alone in front, who took a pass and scored.
The 1st line had the next shift and they had a good shift with a few shots but Kotchetkov stopped them. The Hurricanes almost had a 2 on 1 but Zetterlund interfered with Staal to break it up. Hughes was tripped by Necas for the first penalty of the game. Hughes almost walked through the defense on the power play but was pushed away at the last second. A Hamilton shot deflected off Hischier. Tatar got the rebound and went to his backhand but Kochetkov stopped him with the pad.
Smith was called for interference, Canes first power play of the game. Mercer started the kill and created havoc, with some possession time in the Carolina zone. The Canes got back to the Devils line and turned it over. They reset and a Burns shot was blocked out of play by Hischier. The Canes managed to get set up after the draw but only had 1 shot which was blocked. No SOG for Carolina on the power play.
The Devils had a couple rushes in the next couple minutes but were unable to get any good shots off. The momentum has shifted towards the Devils though. And just as I type this Vanecek makes a stop on a wraparound. Bratt centered for Smith and Kocetkov robbed him. The Canes had a 2 on 1 and Vanecek stopped Necas and the rebound.
Holtz blocked a point shot. Sharangovich tried to feed Holtz with a stretch pass but it was too far.
Haula and Bratt had a shift in the Hurricanes’ zone and Haula was knocked down by Svechnikov in front of the net for a second Devils power play. The first 30 seconds, the Devils looked like they had no idea what they were doing or how to play hockey. The Canes cleared the next attempt. With 10 seconds left in the period, they Devils could’ve had one last chance. They drop passed, lazily gained the line, and Holtz’s shot from far out was blocked as the buzzer sounded.
Hamilton had a blast to start but it missed and the penalty expired. Graves had two chances and both just missed wide.
Marino chipped it off the wall out to the neutral zone but Burns got it, burned 3 players, and passed across to Necas who was open due to the 3 guys all covering Burns, and Necas had an empty net. The Devils challenged for offsides. On the replay, 2 Canes were clearly still in the zone as Burns carried the puck over. Still a 1 goal differential.
The Canes had a 2 on 2 and Severson played it pretty well. The pass went up and over the other Canes stick. The other way, Haula was called for slashing. The Devils almost had a 2 on 1 but the puck stayed in. This left the Devils out of position, and Siegenthaler saved a probable goal by blocking a pass.
The Devils gave up another 2 on 1 after the power play expired. Hughes and Bratt were pretty much back but Staal fired a shot over Vanecek’s shoulder anyway. Well, now it’s 2-0 Carolina for real.
Chatfield was called for tripping Wood. 3rd power play for the Devils. 3rd ineffective power play for the Devils. And just as it was about to end, Teravainen beat Vanecek using Holtz as a screen on a 2 on 2. 3-0 Carolina.
The Devils gave up another 2 on 1. Vanecek made the save and the rebound came out to Stepan with an open net but he couldn’t corral it. Shots are 16-11 in favor of NJ. Feels like a Devils-Capitals game.
Kochetkov made a save on Hischier stretching out with the glove and blocker, laying down on the ice.
Hughes had a chance alone in front. He tried to go to his backhand but Kochetkov stopped him.
The Devils had a 2 on 1 but Chatfield came back and took the puck away from Sharangovich.
Another Canes 2 on 1 with 2:01 left in the 2nd.
Bratt got a breakaway and Kochetkov stopped him with the pad. Kochetkov keeps stopping everything on the ice and the Devils have not been lifting their chances. Fast took a penalty for tripping.
Blackwood is in for Vanecek. Still over a minute of Devils power play time. Hughes went down low and Kochetkov made the save. A Hamilton shot from the point was tipped wide by Hischier. The Devils then had their best chance of the game. Severson shot it, the puck bounced to a Devil, who passed it across to Bratt. He had an open net and Slavin somehow blocked the shot with his stick.
Haula called for slashing again. The Devils killed. They had a chance after the penalty but Slavin poked the puck away from Hughes. Shots are 29-15 in favor of NJ.
Another 2 on 1 for Carolina. Severson blocked the pass.
Hischier made a good pass to Necas in the Hurricanes zone. Carolina went the other way and a shot from the point bounced around and went off the crossbar.
Hughes got the puck on the right side, got past Teravainen trying and failing at playing defense, and fired a shot far side past Kochetkov to end his shutout bid. He’s been trying to score and getting close all night and he finally gets one here.
Smith turned the puck over behind the Devils net. Noesen took the puck and banked it off Blackwood and in. 4-1.
Hamilton took a penalty with 2 minutes left. That’ll do it. Final Hurricanes 4, Devils 1.
0-5-1 in their last 6.
Everything’s Gone A Little Sour
During the win streak, the defense was good, the forwards were scoring, and the goalies weren’t letting anything in. Now the goalies are letting some pucks in, the forwards aren’t scoring, and the defense is giving up odd man rushes and turnovers. I don’t know what changed. Maybe they had a bad couple games and then the line changes messed everyone up. The scoring and goaltending regressing isn’t too surprising, but overall the Devils are playing worse hockey now than they were for the first half of the win streak. The 2nd half they had some lucky wins, but for every game after #2 until towards the end of the win streak, they were playing dominant hockey. Other teams seem to have figured out the Devils’ transition game. They aren’t trash - they outshot the Canes by a LOT in this game. It’s not like they forgot how to play hockey entirely. Just stop giving up the odd man rushes they’ve been allowing lately and that already gives them a much better chance to win. I’m not hitting the panic button yet.
What did you think of tonight’s game? Thoughts on the 0-5-1 stretch? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.