As Close As It Gets - Canes at Devils, Game 7 Preview

The Carolina Hurricanes and the New Jersey Devils are all ready to face off tonight for an epic game seven battle between two evenly matched teams.  Not only are the games tied up at three each, but the other signicant statistics in this series are very close as well. 

The Hurricanes have scored 13 goals while the Devils have scored 12.  The Canes have taken 209 shots on goal while the Devils have taken 208.  Both team's powerplays have struggled while their penalty kill units have excelled.  The Canes are 2-25 with the man advantage while the Devils are 2-23. 

Can it get any closer?  Many of the player's statistics are almost identical as well.

Cam Ward has moved slightly ahead of his mentor in percentages, but both goalies have made exactly 195 saves.

  • Cam Ward GAA 1.96 SV% .942
  • Martin Brodeur GAA 2.13 SV% .938

The leading scorers for the Hurricanes are:

  • Ray Whitney 2G 4A
  • Eric Staal 4G 1A
  • Chad LaRose 2G 3A

Leading the Devils are:

  • Zach Parise 3G 2A
  • Brian Gionta 2G 2A
  • Travis Zajak 1G 2A
  • Patrik Elias 1G 2A

 

Of course, anything can happen in a game seven scenario.  A team could get scoring from an unexpected source.  (Nic Wallin?).  Players could step up and score who have been quiet all series.  (Erik Cole?)

My guess?  It would not surpise me to hear Rod Brind'Amour's name mentioned regarding the scoresheet tonight. The captain has made a habit of scoring big goals when they are needed the most in past playoffs.  Can he do it again?

Coach Maurice said that he will leave the lines the same as they were in the last game.  Sergei Samsonov, who missed game five with an injury but returned for game six, is expected to play again tonight.

  • Staal, Whitney, LaRose
  • Cullen, Ruutu, Cole
  • Brind'Amour, Samsonov, Eaves
  • Jokinen, Walker, Bayda
  • Corvo, Gleason
  • Pitkanen, Seidenberg
  • Babchuk, Wallin

Defenseman Bryce Salvador will not play again tonight for the Devils.  Andy Greene will take his spot on the blueline.

Some pundits are saying that the Hurricanes are wearing down the Devils as the series progresses because Carolina seems to be doing  a bit better each game into it.  Tonight, we will find out if that is an accurate assessment. 

The time for talk is over.  The winners move on, the losers can think about what went wrong until next season. 

Who wants it more?  The battle starts at 7:30.

FS Carolinas will have the broadcast in HD. 

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