Some of the key points that won the first game for the Devils were tough to hold up Friday night when Carolina and New Jersey clashed for game 2. As much as we’d like to believe the Devils blew away Carolina with their sheer skill and agility, fact is the Devils trumped them pretty easily in game one.
Now tonight Carolina stepped up their game and it showed. The scoring chances were pretty even throughout the course of all three periods, including the shots on goal. Both teams were collectively making good scoring opportunities and both teams were playing on the forecheck.
The difference that Carolina had that was the most noticeable in my book was Eric Staal. Not only was he extremely visible on the ice each shift, he had himself well planted in front of Devils netminder Martin Brodeur.
The game was tied up at 1 for the entire second and third period, obviously indicating that this game was going to remain close and not get out of hand for either team.
Carolina also played a much more physical game, but that also gave way to many power play opportunities that the Devils were not able to capitalize on. Out of six power plays, only Zach Parise was able to capitalize on one, and the same held true for Carolina. They like last game had fewer power plays to work with, only three, but they too capitalized on one late in the first period.
The late first period goal for the Hurricanes was scored by Eric Staal on a bounce that came from the shot of Ray Whitney. Stall had himself planted around Brodeur and when the puck bounced off of the boards behind the net, Stall was in a perfect place to cash in.
Perhaps the goal coming with only 25 seconds remaining in the period fizzled the Devils ambitious run through their second game so far. They certainly were not play as well as they had on Wednesday night, but that can also be attributed to Carolina’s focused mindset.
In the second period, Jamie Langenbrunner left the game what was initially being called an undisclosed injury. Later the injury was classified as a lower body injury, which correlated to an awkward shot he took on his left shift before he left. The way he shot the puck and then left the ice appeared as if he had pulled something, perhaps his groin or upper leg area. No further details have been given on the captains condition, however.
To make matters just a little scarier for Devils fans, Jay Pandolfo left after a an awkward hit from Carolina in the Devils zone late in the third period. It appeared as if he had only been winded, and Pandolfo did return to the ice when the Overtime period began.
Look for notes on what needs to happen for Game 3 on Saturday or Sunday morning. Game 3 will take place Sunday night at 7:30 in the Hurricane Shelter.