The New Jersey Devils are scorching right now as they continue their quest to beat the odds and reach the playoffs after a dismal first half of the season. Last night the Devils beat the Carolina Hurricanes for the third time in 12 days, jumping out to an early lead in the first period without looking back en route to a 4-1 victory. The Hurricanes are certainly going to be looking back in the standings as the Devils are now only 1o points behind them for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Devils 15-1-2 in their last 18 games, and have gone from 27 points out of a playoff spot to just 10 points out.
The Devils used a three goal first period to stake Johan Hedberg to a comfortable lead. Dainius Zubrus opened the scoring after he deflected Mark Fayne’s point shot past Carolina goalie Cam Ward. Fayne has played particularly well lately and he was +3 in last night’s contest. He has shown a knack for getting his shots on goal to create rebound and deflection opportunities for his teammates.
Henrik Tallinder scored on a shot from the left point to give the Devils a two-goal lead about halfway through the first period. Tallinder’s shot had a little help finding the twine as it hit Carolina’s Brandon Sutter and beat Cam Ward on the stick side. Ilya Kovalchuk assisted on Tallinder’s goal to extend his points streak to 10 games. Brian Rolston’s 10th goal of the year made it 3-0. Rolston used some great hand-eye coordination as he batted the rebound of Anton Volchenkov’s shot out of midair and past Ward.
Carolina’s Pat Dwyer got the Hurricanes on the board in the third period when he scored on a deflection, but it was too little too late. Zubrus added his second goal of the game at the 11:43 mark of the third period. Zubrus unleashed a laser from the right circle and beat Ward over his left shoulder. Patrik Elias recorded three assists in the victory to give him 800 career points. Johan Hedberg was solid in net again as he made 24 saves on the night.
The Devils look to continue their playoff push in Dallas on Tuesday where they will reunite with a familiar face in Jamie Langenbrunner and his new team, the Dallas Stars. The former Devils captain can be assured that the team coming into Dallas on Tuesday night will be a far cry from the one he left a few months ago.
About the Author
Written by Matt Pellicane
I am currently pursuing a master's degree in Journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. I graduated from Quinnipiac in May 2010 with a bachelor's degree in print journalism. While at Quinnipiac, I covered various sporting events on campus for the online newspaper The Quad News. I was born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey and have been an avid sports fan all of my life. I am a fan of the New Jersey Devils, New York Giants, New York Yankees, and the Boston Celtics.