Devils Bounce Back In Game 3 Against Hurricanes

After back-to-back wins, I was feeling confident that the Carolina Hurricanes would continue their streak and win in Newark. But oh, man. I feel bad for whichever Canes fans were at the game yesterday.

It was clear New Jersey intended to win as they were fighting to maintain possession of the puck during the start of the game. This paid off as Devils forward Timo Meier scored his first goal of the 2022-23 playoffs five minutes into the first period. Forward Jack Hughes scored shortly after, and apparently, New Jersey took cues from Carolina on Friday night as forward Michael McLeod scored too. Of course, I would’ve rather seen Carolina getting goals, but I appreciate that the first period set the playing dynamic for the rest of the game. The more intense playing is in a hockey game, the more exciting it is to watch. Make it playoff hockey and it’s nerve-wracking.

This game was full of first playoff goals since Devils forward Nico Hischier opened the second period with his. Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen was switched for Pyotr Kochetkov shortly after. Kochetkov has been Carolina’s backup goalie due to Antti Raanta being ill. Even though Carolina forward Sebastian Aho snagged a goal for Carolina, the goalie swap didn’t stop New Jersey from getting another one thanks to defenseman Damon Severson.

So far this has been the most physical game in the series due to penalties for high-sticking and roughing from both teams. A roughing penalty for Jack Hughes gave the Hurricanes a penalty shot, which gave forward Jordan Martinook the opportunity to score. And he did! Hopefully there was more to come from the Canes in the third period.

I try to be an optimist in games, so I felt pretty good that Carolina was going to come back in the third period if they maintained offense and tightened up defense. They could have, but today was not the case. Hurricanes forwards Jordan Staal and Seth Jarvis scored the last two goals for Carolina while New Jersey forwards Miles Wood, Jack Hughes, and Ondrej Palat respectively scored for the Devils and sealed an 8-4 win for New Jersey. In an article for All About the Jersey, John Fischer wrote that “It is all but a must-win for the Devils to have any shot at making this playoff series competitive.”

After today, the competition in this series is definitely amped up and it will be exciting to watch the remainder of the games because I can tell that both teams have that desire to win. You never know what’s going to happen in playoff hockey, but I think that Carolina will win this series. Aside from a grab the bull by the horns mentality for offense and a brick wall defense, what’s key to a winning team is discipline. Penalties interfere with good game play and give the other team an advantage.

Until next time, our red and black is better fellow Caniacs.