The Carolina Hurricanes exploded for two goals within 28 seconds in the first period and never looked back as they defeated the New Jersey Devils, 6-3 in front of a sold out PNC Arena on Saturday night.
Jiri Tlusty scored twice and Alexander Semin had a goal and two assists in the win.
The Hurricanes jumped out to a 2-0 lead midway through the opening period, first when Semin scored a powerplay goal off of a pass by Joe Corvo. Then 28 seconds later, Jay Harrison jumped into the play and knocked home a rebound off of a Jeff Skinner shot.
"I was just in the right place at the right time, " the modest defenseman said after the game.
It seemed like the Hurricanes might put the game away in the first period as they had yet another powerplay opportunity right after that, but Ilya Kovalchuk took the puck away from Justin Faulk at the point and skated in alone to put one past Dan Ellis.
The Canes led 2-1 after the first period but did not let up going into the second.
At 4:42 into the period, Semin took a long pass from Ellis and then skated in to the left of Devils goalie Johan Hedberg. Once the goalie committed, the Russian fired a pass to the open Tlusty, who made no mistake. The goal was Tlusty's 12th of the season.
Ellis earned the second assist, the fourth in his career.
Next, Chris Terry would score his first NHL goal, in his first NHL game, on a nice play in front of Hedberg. The youngster said after the game he did not remember the play well, but does remember seeing the puck cross the goal line.
A bit later in the period, Jeff Skinner hit the post on a chance, but then a few seconds later, used his quick hands to push in a rebound to make the score 5-1. It was Skinner's 9th of the season.
The Canes went into a defensive shell in the third and the Devils scored twice, both on deflected pucks. But Tlusty would close out the scoring as he took another Semin pass and skated the puck all the way to the empty net to make the final score, 6-3.
The Canes only had four shots on goal in that final period, but they have yet to lose a game when having a lead after two periods, (10-0-0). Kirk Muller said his team is still learning.
The club will next travel to Washington for a match against the Caps on Tuesday night.
- The Canes continue to do well short handed and went 2-2 on the penalty kill. They did score a powerplay goal in the game as well, but allowed the shortie to Kovalchuk.
- After skating for 26 minutes plus on Thursday, Semin only had 16:57 of ice time tonight. Corvo led the way with 22:15 and Harrison was right behind with 21:53.
- Riley Nash had a team high four takeaways.
- The team only had 22 shots on goal. They were led by J Staal, Skinner, and Tlusty with three each.
- Ellis was still not 100%. After being named second star of the game, he did not quite skate past the tunnel to wave to the crowd and was totally spent.
- E. Staal finished with a plus/minus (+2) giving him a (+19) so far for the season, first in the NHL.
- Tim Brent won 78% of his faceoffs. The team finished at 46%.
- The team had 27 hits led by Tim Gleason with six.