RALEIGH, NC- The Hurricanes are coming into Sunday with a 27-23-9 record, while the Devils are entering with a 30-20-8 record. The Canes are coming off of a 2 game losing streak with a loss Thursday against the Devils at New Jersey. New Jersey on the other hand, is coming into Raleigh with a 3 game winning streak. Stars for the Canes such as Sebastian Aho and Jeff Skinner hope to break the streak tonight. Aho is leading the Canes in goals with 21 and has posted 6 points in his last 5 games. The Canes are tied for first in power-play goals in the NHL since the start of 2018.
The first period for the Hurricane’s could be summarized by one slap shot where forward Elias Lindholm’s stick snapped in two while taking aim at New Jersey’s net. The Cane’s could not produce a goal due to the smothering defense of the Devils only posting 13 shots without a score. Two penalties in the first by the Canes killed any momentum they had. The Devils would take advantage with a power-play goal made by Nico Hischier. He was assisted by Sami Vatanen and Keith Kinkaid. The penalty was off of Brett Pesce for holding and the unsuccessful power play came from Jaccob Slavin, who was penalized for tripping. Slavin would receive another penalty in the second period for cross checking. The period would end 1-0.
Penalties were flying leading to scores by both teams in the second period with 3 calls against the Devils and one from Jaccob Slavin for the Canes. Two of the Devil penalties were for holding by Jesper Bratt and John Moore, while the third would be for hooking from Nick Lappin. The Canes could not capitalize on any of the power plays and through the second were 2-3 on the penalty kill. Before the penalties however, Teuvo Teravainen would score and make the game even with 13:55 left. He would be assisted by Victor Rask and Trevor van Riemsdyk. This would be Rasks 300th NHL/Hurricanes game and his 4th assist in a 5 day span. The Devils would respond with 4:27 left, adding a score on the board by Pavel Zacha with an assist by Moore. Going into the third, New Jersey would stay on top of Carolina 2-1.
The third period, up until 2 minutes left, held both teams without another score with strong defensive play on both sides of the ice. With two minutes left Coach Peters pulled goalie Cam Ward out of the net and brought in an extra forward for a desperate effort to tie the game. With 1:18 left, Jeff Skinner answered the Canes prayers with a score that was his 200th goal of his NHL career, and would send the 18,680 fans in the PNC Arena to their feet. Assisted by Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce, the goal ended regulation with a tied score of 2-2 and overtime looming.
High drama surrounded the arena going into overtime and the Canes were ready to add a quality win under their belt after a two game skid. The outcome however, turned into the Canes worst nightmare. Taylor Hall for the Devils would score on Cam Ward with the assist by Kyle Palmieri and Sami Vatanen ending the game with 23 seconds left. The Canes would end on 42 shot attempts while the Devils would only shoot 21 times however this was enough to bring home the win with a final of 3-2. Carolina has now lost 3 times in a row and look for an answer while on a 4 day break. They host the 34-22-4 Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday in Raleigh.
1st Star- Jeff Skinner (CAR)
2nd Star- Taylor Hall (NJD)
3rd Star- Keith Kinkaid (NJD)