The New Jersey Devils earned a win in the series, an 8-4 offensive show in Game 3. Several key players stepped up for New Jersey, including Jack Hughes, who recorded four points.
We now move to Game 4 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Now that the Devils have a win, how does this change the series, if at all?
The New Jersey Devils look to make it a 2-2 series.
Is Timo Meier coming around?
Devils forward Timo Meier had not been himself since the playoffs began. He was not the scoring threat he was in the regular season, as he looked uncomfortable. In Game 3, Meier recorded his first point of the playoffs, a goal, as he knocked a puck in from in close.
Meier looked quicker, fresher, played well in the corners, and found linemates for scoring chances. Meier was solid in the defensive zone and in the neutral zone. Could this be the breakout game that Meier needed? New Jersey hopes so.
Expanded roster for New Jersey?
The New Jersey Devils AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets, were eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs. Some of the players on that roster have been called up to the Devils’ main roster.
Forwards include Graeme Clarke, Nolan Foote, Brian Halonen, Alexander Holtz, and Tyce Thompson. Defensemen are Simon Nemec, Topias Vilen, and goaltender Nico Daws. Chances are if any of these players do get ice time it will be in a depth role.
No word on if any of these players will be used or not.
Does the Ryan Graves injury hurt New Jersey?
New Jersey defenseman Ryan Graves was ruled out of Sunday’s game with what was described as an upper-body injury. Graves joined practice on Monday but left only minutes in. No word on if Graves will play, how much he will play, or who will be replacing him on the roster.
Graves has been solid in his own zone, playing a defensive, physical brand of hockey suited for the playoffs. Defenseman Brendan Smith could be added if Graves cannot go.
Will the Carolina Hurricanes have a response in Game 4?
Carolina did not look like themselves in the 8-4 loss in Game 3. The defense looked sloppy in their own zone, they had too many turnovers, and they gave New Jersey too much time and space to operate.
The Canes need to shut down the transition game of the Devils and play a more physical style in front of their net. Protecting Frederik Andersen in the crease should help the goals against, as the eight goals scored in game 3 came from within 20 feet of the net.
Can New Jersey outwork the #1 penalty kill in the playoffs?
While the New Jersey penalty kill has been tremendous, the penalty kill of the Hurricanes ranks first among penalty kill units in the playoffs. The Hurricanes waste no time in getting a player on the puck during the opponent’s man advantage.
How do the Devils beat the penalty kill unit of Carolina? Speed. The rush into the offensive zone, the passes have to have zip, screen the goaltender more, maybe a four-forward unit, get under the skin of Andersen, and have more shots.
Projected lineups for the Devils and Hurricanes
New Jersey Devils
Ondrej Palat- Nico Hischier- Jesper Bratt
Timo Meier- Jack Hughes- Dawson Mercer
Erik Haula- Jesper Boqvist- Tomas Tatar
Miles Wood- Michael McLeod- Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler- Dougie Hmailton
Brendan Smith- John Marino
Luke Hughes- Damon Severson
Vitek Vanecek- Akira Schmid
injuries- Jonathan Bernier (Hip-IR), Ryan Graves (upper-body)
Stefan Noesen- Sebastian Aho- Seth Jarvis
Jordan Martinook- Jesperi Kotkaniemi- Jesper Fast
Jack Drury- Jordan Staal- Martin Necas
Paul Stastny- Derek Stepan- Jesse Puljujarvi
Jaccob Slavin- Brent Burns
Brady Skeji- Brett Pesce
Shayne Gostisbehere- Jalen Chatfield
Frederik Andersen- Pyotr Kochetkov
injuries- Jake Gardiner (Hip-IR), Ondrej Kase (Concussion-IR), Max Pacioretty (Achilles-IR), Andrei Svechnikov (Knee-IR), Teuvo Teravainen (Hand)
lineups via nhl.com
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