After 22 years playing against a rival like New Jersey, there are going to be moments to remember. Let’s look at the Carolina Hurricanes History with them.
It is no secret that the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils have a long, fruitful history, and it could be said that either team has had a better part in this rivalry. Let us take a look at some of the more enjoyable moments from the Carolina Hurricanes side of this rivalry.
In 2002, an ancient time for some, feels like yesterday for many, Carolina had a backup goalie step between the pipes to attempt to save their season. Kevin Weekes stepped into the crease to keep Carolina’s season at bay. Weekes backstopped the Canes past New Jersey once again, as Carolina ran to the Stanley Cup Finals. New Jersey would win the cup the following year.
I think number one for everyone is easy enough. Dubbed “Shock at the Rock” by Caniacs, Carolina trailed the Devils with less than two minutes to go in the third period of game seven of the first round. A superb keep-in from Tim Gleason on his knees would lead to a goal from Jussi Jokinen.
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In that same series three games earlier, game four at the then RBC Center, with the scores tied, the Carolina Hurricanes had a crazy final minute taking shot after shot after shot at the Devils goal, hoping for something to go in.
A point shot with less than a second to go would take a deflection off the pre-mentioned Jussi Jokinen to find the back of the net with 0.2 seconds left in the game. That is not a typo, two tenths of a second.
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Another distant, but not so great memory for us Canes fans is that the first ever game at the RBC Center or PNC Arena was between these two teams. Andrei Kovalenko would score the first ever goal at the building, but Carolina would fall short to the Devils. Over 20 years on, the Carolina Hurricanes have had a chance to correct the script, and rewrite history at PNC Arena.
Finally, one of my favorite moments. In April last year, in a critical game with playoff implications, Carolina would fall behind early, but Justin Faulk (one of the older players to have never seen a postseason puck drop prior to that season) scored the game winning goal closing out a win over New Jersey.
With a little help from the Washington Capitals beating the Montreal Canadians in regulation, the Carolina Hurricanes finally clinched another berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs after nine years of missing.
This rivalry over the years has had some great moments, from the shock at the rock in 2009, to the Canes finally getting back to the playoffs last season. Be sure not to miss this game, because when these two teams play, you always want to be watching. You might find something magical.
Question for Cardiac Cane Readers: What is your favorite moment or interaction the team has had with the New Jersey Devils?