Today, the Hurricanes will visit the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey as the Metropolitan Division leaders look to hold onto their division lead. Shortly after this game, the New York Rangers will play the Boston Bruins on a day that could potentially re-establish the team’s lead at the top of the Metropolitan Division. It’s an important day for both teams, but the Canes are still in control.
We’ll get to talking about the division in a few days, but for now, the New Jersey Devils are the opponent and they are a team that has already given the Canes a few problems this season. New Jersey ruined the first NHL start for Jack Lafontaine back in January, but the Canes extracted a 2-1 win over the Devils in revenge. With these two teams clashing again back in Raleigh to end the Hurricanes season, this is an important game.
New Jersey has very little to play for outside of pride and contract bonuses. They’re mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, as the East has been decided for a little while now. Carolina is still in the race for the division title. This is a game that the Canes need to just get two points from to put the pressure back onto the Rangers in the Division.
New Jersey will not roll over for the Canes. We know the Devils can spoil games and seasons. If Carolina is not at their best, this will be a tough game. However, with the playoffs right around the corner, the Canes have a chance to win back-to-back NHL division titles for the first time in the history of the organization. If they keep New Jersey’s offense quiet, there should be goals in this for the offense. It’s if they can get one past a goalie that isn’t elite.