On Saturday night, the Prudential Center in Newark hosted UFC 288.
Despite that, the biggest beatdown in the arena this weekend came Sunday afternoon, as the New Jersey Devils throttled the Carolina Hurricanes 8-4 to jump right back into their second-round series.
Facing a 2-0 deficit after two blowout wins for the Canes in Raleigh, the Devils were always going to bring their best Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately for the visitors, they left their best back at home.
It was a rough game from the get-go for Carolina, as pretty much nothing went right for the Canes Sunday.
About last night:
Four goals at Freddie’s
To say Sunday was a bad day for Frederik Andersen would be an understatement.
Andersen started the game, gave up four goals on 12 shots faced and got pulled from the game just 53 seconds into the second period after giving up another goal after failing to control the puck in the crease.
And it’s not just that Andersen gave up four goals, but a few of them were pretty soft. The first was a little wraparound where Andersen failed to seal the post, while the second was a snipe from Jack Hughes past Andersen’s glove. The third was probably the worst for Andersen, a shorthanded effort that Michael McLeod just kind of guided past Andersen.
Andersen faced just 1.83 expected goals against but gave up four, as it just wasn’t his day. It’s not a sight we’ve seen so far this playoffs — Andersen has been great up until Sunday — but Sunday was an outing to forget in a hurry for Andersen.
And while Andersen wasn’t good, it’s not like things went much better for Pyotr Kochetkov when he came in. The young Russian gave up four goals as well, making 18 saves on 22 shots faced.
Any hope, squandered quickly
The Canes went down 3-0 in the first period and then 4-0 in the first minute of the second period, but there were still a few moments in the game where it felt like Carolina had (a very outside) shot of getting back into the game.
Sebastian Aho scored to make it 4-1 a couple of minutes after New Jersey’s fourth goal, but almost immediately the Devils scored again to bump their advantage back to four goals.
Jordan Martinook scored on a penalty shot later in the second period, cutting things to a 5-2 game at the second intermission. An early third-period goal would have given the Hurricanes some life, but instead it was New Jersey who scored in the first few minutes of the third to push the lead back to four goals.
Jordan Staal and Seth Jarvis scored in quick shorthanded succession midway through the third period to bring things to 7-4, but once again the Devils answered that with a goal to make it 8-4.
The Canes never had a realistic shot of getting back into the game, but any hope of a wild comeback was squandered very quickly any time it popped up.