In stunning fashion the Carolina Hurricanes reached into the chests of both the fans and New Jersey Devils players together and ripped out their hearts as they pulled off an improbable comeback in a historic game 7 at the Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey.
The Canes started quickly scoring on a soft goal by Tuomo Ruutu at the 1:02 mark off a wrist shot down the right side. The Devils quickly answered back and gained the momentum in the game when Jamie Langenbrunner cashed in on a feed by Zach Parise at the left side of the net. Later in the 1st period Jay Pandolfo scored his 1st goal of the series off a 2 on 1 with John Madden to take the lead into the 1st intermission. Ray Whitney scored a lucky bounce goal off a pass from Eric Stall from behind the Devils net to tie the game again at 2 at the 3:42 mark of the second. Brian Rolston broke the tie and scored his first goal of the series on the powerplay off a rocket of a shot at the 8:47 mark of the second to give the Devils the 3-2 lead. The end of the 2nd period saw Cam Ward save a barrage of shots including shutting the door on a 4:00 minute powerplay that carried over into the 3rd period. The stage was set as the minutes passed by the Devils faithful were inching closer and closer to the second round until disaster struck at the 18:40 mark when Jussi Jokinen cashed in on pass from Pitkanen off an unbelievable effort to keep the puck from leaving the zone by Tim Gleason. A cross ice pass through 3 Devils that should have never happened right in front of trade deadline pick up Niclas Havelid. So only fitting that this game be tied and go to overtime after the series these 2 teams just went through. A time out with 44 seconds remaining by Brent Sutter will surely prepare the team to gain their composures enough to carry the play and salvage a shot at overtime. WRONG somebody forgot to inform series co MVP Eric Staal that as he blistered down the right side and fired a puck past Martin Brodeur at the 19:28 mark of the 3rd period to give the Hurricanes the lead, game and series!!!
1:20 away, or better yet 80 seconds away from winning the game and the series!!! The pain I have felt and shock and disbelief has not even begun to wear off 24 hours after the start of this epic game 7! My jaw was on the floor and I stared at my big screen (which will not see another sporting event until NFL preseason now) in disbelief and flat out horror! How can the NEW JERSEY DEVILS blow a late game lead to lose a series? With Martin Brodeur between the pipes? I cannot begin to try and give an answer to this nor could anyone in the Devils locker room. This was truly a sports moment for the ages and the Devils will now be known as the team that had the worst game 7 collapse in NHL history??? I thank all of my friends for checking up on me today as I was a zombie at work, still shocked from this. I know it is just a game but damn that hurt! To watch your team for close to 80 games and watch them fight all season long through adversity to come down to 80 seconds…. 80 seconds…… not much can be done in 80 seconds except have your heart ripped out by an opponent I guess in the NHL.
I will come back on in a couple of days after this wears off with my end of season report cards and UFA list but until the burn of this shocking game wears off, I do not want to short change anyone with emotions. The Devils will forever be my team win or lose and to the Hurricanes I say WOW good on you! What a performance for the ages, what a miracle comeback, if Hollywood was watching last night they would have a blockbuster movie on their hands!! If the Canes go to Boston and lay a duck after that gutsy performance, this burn will continue until the Devils 1st win of the 2009-2010 season. Great comeback Canes and way to keep your composures and keep the faith.
About the Author
Written by Jayson Saikaley