The Carolina Hurricanes dominated the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at home on Wednesday night.
New Jersey was riding high after their Game 7 win over the New York Rangers to advance to this series with the Hurricanes.
But Carolina was rested after defeating the New York Islanders in six games, and the Hurricanes wasted no time chasing their opponent when the puck fell in Raleigh.
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The Hurricanes dominated the Devils from the jump, making 13 shot attempts to one from New Jersey to start the game. On that 13th down, Brett Pesce landed an offensive zone faceoff with his stick, waited for the right moment, and sent a wrist whoop into the net, which Devils goaltender Akira Schmid missed through several skaters.
It was Pesce’s first goal of the playoffs, and Jordan Staal scored his third assist.
Two more goals went to the home team after that. Seth Jarvis blocked a pass and sped down the ice to get past Schmid to make it 2-0.
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Just two minutes into the second period, a backboard battle in the Hurricanes’ offensive zone saw the puck land on Jesper Fast’s crossbar. After passing it to Jordan Martinook, he quickly found Jesperi Kotkaniemi for an open net behind Schmid.
And the hurricanes opened the doors in this early.
The Devils cut the lead to 3-1 on a Nathan Bastian goal.
But Carolina kept the Devils, who scored four goals against Igor Shesterkin on Monday night, quiet on offense to start the game. With 25 minutes to play, the Devils only had three shots in the net.
New Jersey ended up beefing up their defense and getting more shots on Anderson, but to no avail. Instead, what ended up being the dagger in the Devils’ Game 1 opportunities came midway through the third period.
After a good head-on hit, the Hurricanes rushed quickly onto the ice, and Brady Skjei hit a shot past Schmid for his first goal of the playoffs to make it 4-1.
A goal into the empty net by Jesper Fast with 3:16 remaining made it 5-1.
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Carolina will look to keep up their momentum at home on Friday for Game 2. The puck drops at 8 pm ET.