The Carolina Hurricanes took on the New Jersey Devils Friday night. Unfortunately for Carolina Hurricanes fans, they did not get what they wanted on Black Friday. The Carolina Hurricanes fell to the New Jersey Devils 5-2. After leading 2-1 after two periods, the Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t keep the lead, and they completely fell apart in the third period.
Mark Fayne started the scoring late in the first period to make it 1-0. The New Jersey Devils had complete control in the first period, and a Mark Fayne wrist shot from the point found its way through traffic and past Cam Ward. The goal came with 1:40 to go in the first period. The assists went to Dainius Zubrus and Jaromir Jagr.
The second period was a good one for the Carolina Hurricanes. Jeff Skinner scored 1:53 into the second period to tie the game at one. Ryan Murphy put a shot on goal, but it was blocked out front. The puck then went right to Skinner who sniped it top shelf on Cory Schneider. Ryan Murphy and Riley Nash got the assists on Skinner’s fourth of the season.
But the Carolina Hurricanes weren’t done there. Justin Faulk sprang Jordan Staal for a breakaway goal to make it 2-1. Justin Faulk corralled a puck in his own end and threw it up ice to Jordan Staal who beat Schneider glove side on the breakaway. The goal came at 6:34 of the second period. Justin Faulk and Ron Hainsey got the assists.
New Jersey would tie the game at 8:43 of the third period thanks to Andrei Loktionov. Loktionov’s shot was stopped by Cam Ward, but it then went under his arm and it trickled into the Canes net. It was a tough goal to allow. That’s a save Cam Ward makes 99% of the time, but it beat him to tie the game at two. Damien Brunner and Michael Ryder were credited with the assists.
Things didn’t get any better for the Carolina Hurricanes. At 12:02 of period three, Adam Henrique made it 3-2 in favor of the Devils. Eric Gelinas let a slap shot go from the right point. Brett Bellemore blocked the shot, and it went right to Adam Henrique who beat Mike Komisarek to the front of the net. Henrique put it into the open Canes goal to make it 3-2. Eric Gelinas and Andy Greene got the assists.
Nearly two minutes later, Dainius Zubrus extended the Devil lead to 4-2. Jon Merrill‘s shot from the point was deflected out front by Zubrus and went through the five-hole of Cam Ward. It was the Devils’ third goal in a little over five minutes. The goal came at 13:52 of the third period. Jon Merrill and Jaromir Jagr got the assists.
Jaromir Jagr put it away at 16:31 of the third period to make it 5-2. Jagr came into the Hurricanes zone, and took a shot that was saved by Cam Ward. He then picked up his own rebound and put it past the Canes goalie. That was Jagr’s third point of the hockey game, and it put the game out of reach. The lone assist went to Travis Zajac.
FINAL SCORE- New Jersey Devils- 5. Carolina Hurricanes- 2.
The Carolina Hurricanes did not play with the same amount of effort that the New Jersey Devils did. The Devils came out and played like a team battling for a playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes came out slow, and could not keep up with the New Jersey Devils from the outset.
The Canes were able to stay in it through 50 minutes, but the Devils will to win carried them to a huge final ten minutes. Cam Ward had an off game. He didn’t make the saves that he usually makes, and that ultimately got the Canes the loss.
The team in front of Cam Ward played even worse. The Carolina Hurricanes weren’t able to consistently provide offense. The team we saw each of the past two games prior to tonight did not show up. If there was one player I thought had a good game, it was Eric Staal. He did not extend his point streak, but I thought he continued his strong play against the Devils.
Jiri Tlusty has looked like a shell of his old self this year, and that continued against the Devils. He is virtually unnoticeable on the ice. There is a good kind of unnoticeable, and there is a bad type of unnoticeable. It is good when you are just playing a solid all around game, and you aren’t making any mistakes. It is bad when you are just not contributing in any fashion and you are basically just out there because you need five skaters on the ice. Jiri Tlusty was the bad kind of unnoticeable tonight, and he’s been like that nearly all year.
Losing Andrej Sekera certainly hurt the Canes. Sekera plays extremely well in all areas, and the Carolina Hurricanes need him in the lineup. Hopefully for the team, he will return from injury soon.
The third period was an opportunity for the Carolina Hurricanes to stomp on the neck of the New Jersey Devils. Instead, the Canes allowed the Devils to get right back in the game, and ultimately take it away from the Hurricanes.
The Carolina Hurricanes will take on the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday afternoon. This is a good chance for the Canes to rebound and get a win on home ice. There will be a preview and recap for the game right here on Cardiac Cane.