The Carolina Hurricanes came out of the first two games with a 2-0 series lead after beating the New Jersey Devils 6-1.
The New Jersey Devils were down in the series 2-0 to the New York Rangers and won the series in seven. Can they repeat that performance in round two and take down the Canes?
The Hurricanes are a bit more polished than the Rangers, so this task will not be easy to complete.
The Carolina Hurricanes have put pressure on New Jersey.
Canes led by Jesperi Kotkaniemi
The Hurricanes scored six goals in this game, getting contributions from everyone: Jordan Staal (goal), Jack Drury (two assists), Sebastian Aho (assists), Stefan Noesen (goal), Seth Jarvis assists), Jordan Martinook (goal, assist), Jesper Fast (assist), Kotkaniemi (two goals), Martin Necas (goal), Brett Pesce (assist), Shayne Gostisbehere (two assists), and Jacob Slavin (assists).
This Canes team comes in waves in the offensive zone, getting a lot of scoring chances one right after another.
Carolina chases Akira Schmid again
The Cinderella story of Devils goaltender Schmid may be over. Once the story of the entire NHL playoffs, he has been average over the past four games, being replaced in three of those games.
This may be a sign for New Jersey head coach Lindy Ruff to go to Vitek Vanecek for Game 3 at home. Schmid seems to have lost his game a bit, and a change may be necessary to keep the Devils in this series. Vanecek has been solid in replacing Schmid between the pipes.
The Hurricanes score on the power play
Carolina had a goose egg in Game 1, going 0-for-3. In Game 2, they finally cracked the Devils’ penalty kill, going 1-for-2. Any other time, this would not be noteworthy, but the New Jersey penalty kill has been one of the best in the playoffs.
Drury won a board battle for the puck and passed it back to Gostisbehere, who found Kotkaniemi in the left circle. Kotkaniemi skated the puck about ten feet, then wired it over the glove of Schmid for a 1-0 Canes lead.
If they can pass the puck like this on the man advantage, then more power play goals will be coming to Carolina.