The New Jersey Devils throttled the Carolina Hurricanes for almost two and a half periods while jumping out to a 3-0 lead, then held on against what is becoming a familiar late Carolina surge as the Devils prevailed, 3-2 on Wednesday night at "The Rock".
Both teams had trouble getting anything going in the scoreless opening period as the Canes got just five shots on goal to six shots on goal for the home team.
To Troy Bodie's credit, he tried to get the troops fired up when he dropped the gloves with Mark Fraser early in the game. Both players stood toe-to-toe and exchanged blows for almost a minute before skating away from each other, too tired to continue.
While the Devils picked things up enough in the second period to take a 1-0 lead, it was just more of the same for the Canes. Once again, Carolina failed to generate any consistency in the Jersey zone and only mustered six shots on goal in that period.
Early in the third period, the Devils struck twice within a minute and change as Brian Rolston and Patrik Elias each took turns scoring and assisting.
With the score 3-0 and having only put 12 shots on goal so far, the Hurricanes finally tried harder to play a bit more in the offensive zone, but Johan Hedberg made a few key stops to keep the visitors at bay.
The Canes finally broke through when Jiri Tlusty made a nice move behind the net and found Sergei Samsonov at the doorstep. Carolina could not solve Hedberg again though until Tuomo Ruutu scored a goal in front of the net with just four seconds left.
The win gave the Devils an amazing 13-1-2 record in their last 16 games.
The Hurricanes ended their, at one time respectable road trip, with a whimper and hopefully will have more to show an already sold out (standing room only) crowd for Brind'Amour Night on Friday night.
Quick Stats and Thoughts:
- John Forslund said after the game on 99.9 The Fan that the team might be trying to concentrate too much on defense, at the expense of offense. No matter what they are trying to do, 11 shots on goal in two periods is not going to win many games.
- In Ruutu's interview after the game, he said the team played without emotion for two and a half periods, but he had no explanation why.
- Both teams were just credited with eight hits. (Although they are stingy handing them out in Jersey, for whatever reason.)
- Joe Corvo had a team high six shots on goal. Jerome Samson generated some good chances and finished with three shots.
post game interviews: