After two dominant performances at PNC Arena by the Carolina Hurricanes, the team was fed a bit of its own medicine as the New Jersey Devils throttled the Canes 8-4 Sunday afternoon at the Prudential Center.
Nobody is going to want to read some longwinded breakdown after a game like that, so instead we’ll go over some key points from the game.
- I will point out that he had no help, but it was not a great game for Frederik Andersen. The starting goaltender was pulled after four goals against on just 11 shots (He had a 1.74 expected goals against . A few were stops he has to make in those situations and he had made them for the past three games, so perhaps fatigue caught up to a goalie who hasn’t played in too many consecutives games this season.
- And for anybody calling for Pyotr Kochetkov to be the guy this postseason, he also saw four goals against on 18 shots while facing just 1.61 expected goals against.
- The Martinook-Kotkaniemi-Fast line got buried by New Jersey with a 40 CF% and three goals against. They had been strong at home in shutting down the top guns of the Devils, but not today.
- Perhaps even worse then those three was Skjei and Pesce. The pairing was abysmal with a 22.22 CF% and were on the ice for a staggering five goals against. If they are going to be your go-to defensive pair, they have to be better. Being buried that bad isn’t acceptable.
- The power play has been ineffective. Not even mentioning the shorthanded goal against, the man advantage has to give them some more juice. New Jersey hasn’t had strong goaltending so they need to start tallying.
Some positives that can be extracted:
- The Hurricanes scored three shorthanded goals (Martinook, Staal, Jarvis) and only allowed one power play goal after New Jersey was gifted an extension on an already existing 5-on-3.
- Sebastian Aho continued to play with fire in his belly, scoring, getting physical and being the player Carolina needs him to be.
- The goaltending in New Jersey hasn’t been good. Carolina can capitalize on that if they can tighten up in their own end.
- Further to that point, the Hurricanes hit three posts today on top of scoring four goals. Martin Necas hit the post twice himself, including right at the start of the game which could have changed the entire nature of the game.
- Stefan Noesen beat up Erik Haula.
It looked ugly, but it isn’t time to sound the alarm. It was a game that was still winnable despite everything that happened and the Hurricanes are still up 2-1.
Carolina has shown strong composure all season, so it can be expected that they’ll come back out for Game 4 already having moved on from today.
The Canes will be back in action Tuesday night for Game 4 still with the hope to steal an early game on the road.