Carolina Hurricanes open with 5-1 win against New Jersey in Game 1

Carolina Hurricanes. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Carolina Hurricanes. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-1 in a series featuring two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Jesper Fast, Jordan Martinook, and Jordan Staal each had two points in the win. Goaltender Frederik Andersen stopped 17 of only 18 shots to secure the win.

Canes dominate the first period

Carolina opened period one with a bang. The Canes sent 10 shots toward Devils goaltender Akira Schmid in a sequence that saw the Hurricanes outshoot New Jersey 10-1. The 10 shots are not what stood out, it is the one shot that New Jersey was able to get.

The Devils could not get anything going against a smothering defense. Carolina was flying in the first twenty, using their speed to outwork the Devils. Anderson did stop the one shot he saw.

The Carolina Hurricanes have a 1-0 series lead.

Could it have been that Carolina had time off due to an early elimination? Was New Jersey still exhausted from a seven-game series?

Devils penalty kill strong again

New Jersey came into Game 1 of the second round with one of the superior penalty killing units in the playoffs. This was no different on Wednesday as the Devils killed off all three of Carolina’s man advantages.

With the pressure that New Jersey supplied, the Canes  had no time to set up in the offensive zone. The passing lanes were nonexistent, and the shots that did get through were turned aside. It was superior penalty killing once again against a top-tier team in the Eastern Conference.

Andersen shuts the door

Although the Devils had only 18 shots in the game, some of them were high-quality and Andersen smothered them all. A goaltender can get bored seeing only a few shots in the entire game, but Andersen remained focused on the task at hand.

He did not allow rebounds and took away a large part of the net with his 6-foot-4 and 238 frame. It is going to be difficult to get anything past him because of his size and the team in front of him.

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The Canes are going to be tough to beat if Andersen can be on his game throughout the playoffs. If the Canes can remain solid in the defensive zone then Andersen can be almost untouchable.