No rest for the Carolina Hurricanes who take on the New Jersey Devils, their second opponent in PNC Arena within 24 hours.
The Carolina Hurricanes will not have much in terms of rest after losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night. Less than 19 hours after playing the Metro leaders they welcome the New Jersey Devils, who are only higher than the Penguins in the Metro standings. This will be the fourth of a critical six game homestand that can set the tone for the rest of the season. This will also be the first time these two teams play each other this season.
New Jersey also comes into PNC on a back-to-back after losing to the Red Wings in OT last night. The only difference is that the Devils have about six hours of rest over the Hurricanes. That advantage will hopefully be negated by the fact the Devils have to fly down to Carolina after playing at home.
Both teams have come out of the gate this season swinging on all cylinders. The Carolina Hurricanes had a four game winning streak that started after losing OT on opening night. The Devils had a delayed start but also went on a similar four game winning streak. Both teams then dropped their next three games. Since then neither team has been able to string more than two wins together.
- WATCH NHL ON ESPN+: Get your free 7-day trial of ESPN+
With Scott Darling having played against the Columbus Blue Jackets the night before, expect Curtis McElhinney or Petr Mrazek to take his spot between the pipes. Curtis McElhinney’s last few starts have not been ideal. He has not posted a save percent above .880 since his first game against Columbus. Petr Mrazek has shown some decent play even with loses against both the Islanders and Coyotes. I expect Coach Brind’Amour to start Mrazek over McElhinney if he is healthy enough.
Speaking of Coach Rod…he is NOT happy with the lack of effort from last night’s game. The only two players who may not be on the coach’s disappointed list are Sebastian Aho and Jaccob Slavin. They carried the team through most of the night and are the sole reason they got on the board while avoiding being blown out by an even bigger score. Expect everyone to play like their father grounded them for life unless they can string three wins together.
The Devils played a game last night that was a carbon copy of our last game against Detroit, seeing a two goal lead diminish before falling to an overtime loss. They will be flying into Raleigh wondering what has happened. I imagine this game will be chippy, hard-fought, and fueled with anger from both teams. Expect a fight, because both teams will be wanting to win like never before tonight. I expect Carolina to want it more.
Prediction: Carolina 5, New Jersey 4 (OT)