Jordan Martinook had a goal, two assists and the Carolina Hurricanes scored five runs in the second period to beat the New Jersey Devils 6-1 Tuesday and take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Martin Necas scored twice and Brett Pesce, Jesper Fast and Brent Burns added goals as the Hurricanes defeated the young Devils for the third time in four games. Frederik Andersen made 21 saves in a relatively easy game after conceding an early goal to Jack Hughes.
The Hurricanes have outscored New Jersey 17-3 in their three wins. The five second-period goals were the most the Devils have conceded in a period this season.
The Canes, who edged out the Devils for the Metropolitan Division title, can wrap up the best-of-seven series Thursday night in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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Despite being down 2-1, New Jersey seemed to have the momentum going into Game 4. It posted a one-sided 8-4 victory Sunday and things and the crowd went their way after early advice from Hughes for his sixth goal of the postseason
Things changed late in the opening period when Martinook set up Necas with a deft pass to finish from close range that beat Vitek Vanecek.
Everything went the way of the hurricanes in the second period. They got a couple of friendly rebounds off the Devils’ sticks, and then New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff turned them into a timeout and then a goaltender trade to first-round hero Akira Schmid didn’t change their luck. .
Martinook, who didn’t score a point in a six-game first round win over the Islanders, was at the center of things in the big second period, which featured the first four goals in a span of 5:20.
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Necas put Carolina ahead at 7:26 when Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler deflected a cross pass from Pesce and it went to the Carolina forward solo up front.
Martinook, who has nine points in this series, was involved in the last two goals. He had the secondary assist in Burns’ first postseason at 12:46.
Martinook capped the five goal streak by beating Schmid on a break at 19:36.
Vanecek allowed five goals on 17 shots.
Hughes put the Devils on the board at 1:55, deflecting Timo Meier’s shot between Andersen’s pads for his sixth goal. Necas tied at 17:40 in the closing.
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NOTES: The Devils made no roster changes after their one-sided victory on Sunday. Ruff used seven defenders again. … New Jersey D Ryan Graves missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. … Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour made a substitution, sitting out Jesse Puljujarvi and inserting MacKenzie MacEachern at the fourth line. … Martinook has three goals and six assists in the series.