After Big Boston Win, Canes Head to NJ for Metro Division Matchup

Carolina Hurricanes v New Jersey Devils - Game Four
Carolina Hurricanes v New Jersey Devils - Game Four / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

After a fantastic effort in Boston, the Carolina Hurricanes get right back to it in New Jersey this evening for a Metro Division showdown. Knocking off the Eastern Conference leaders was a good showing for the players' mothers in attendance for the Mothers Trip.

A late third-period tally from Jordan Martinook sent the Canes and their mothers back on the road with smiles. Spencer Martin collected his first win in a Canes jersey and Martin Necas got back on track with a goal.

Now the focus shifts to the New Jersey Devils, last seen in the second round of the playoffs last spring. A convincing series win propelled the Canes to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they met their fate against the Florida Panthers.

The Devils seemed to be hitting their stride and looking to become the top team in the East. In the summer, the Devils added veteran forward, Tyler Toffoli, while retaining newly acquired Timo Meier. Despite some questions in the goal, the team was ready to take the Metro Division.

New Jersey got off to a terrible start and has been recovering from that all season long. Outside looking in on the playoffs, the Devils are currently 2 points out of the last Wild Card spot with 51 points.

Unlike last night's opponent, the Devils have played poorly at home with an under .500 record of 10-11-2 record. Ninth in the league in scoring with 156 goals scored, the Devils present a problem from a defensive standpoint. The speed and skill combination at forward is deep and comes fast.

Jesper Bratt leads the team in scoring with 17 goals and 48 points. New addition, Toffoli leads the team in goals with 20. With an injury to Jack Hughes, his point total is lower than expected with 45 points. In just 32 games played, Hughes has 13 goals and 30 assists.

Jack's brother Luke has had a strong first full season in the NHL while leading all Devils defensemen with 25 points. Dougie Hamilton has been out for the better part of the season, hurting the blue line greatly. Another former Cane will be happy to face Carolina as Erik Haula has 23 points this season.

As mentioned before, goaltending has not been consistent and that shows in the 3 keepers that have played this season. Vitek Vanecek has seen the majority of the starts, with Akira Schmid and Nico Daws playing the rest. The combined 3.51 GAA and .890 save percentage has much left to be desired from this group.

Carolina's legs will be heavy after playing a tough, physical contest last night but Antti Raanta should be fresh and ready to take on a powerful offense. Unlike last night, I expect this game to be high scoring.