The Devils (6-3-3, 15 pts) continued their impressive play at home as they defeated their division rival, the Carolina Hurricanes (3-5-4, 10 pts), 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday night.
While many in New Jersey had their eyes glued to the Presidential Election, 12,179 Devils fans showed up strong to watch their team play. Strange technical difficulties occurred early in the game as the goal horn was blaring randomly, causing play to stop. This happened again later on in the first period. Players and fans alike were getting annoyed by this constant delay.
The Devils struck first in the game, with a PA Parenteau (5) breakaway goal on Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward. Center Travis Zajac (5) and winger Taylor Hall (4) assisted on the goal.
The Hurricanes forced a tie 4:23 into the second period on a Jordan Staal (4) power play goal on a Jaccob Slavin (3) pass through heavy traffic in front of the net. Defenseman Brett Pesce (3) assisted on the goal as well. Defenseman Klas Dahlbeck scored on an unassisted slap shot from in front of the left side of the blue line, giving the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
Rookie winger Nick Lappin tied things up 3:51 into the third period, after backhanding the puck into the net, giving him his first career NHL goal. Center Sergey Kalinin and winger Vernon Fiddler assisted on the goal Carolina would use a coach’s challenge, citing goaltender’s interference. After a brief review, Lappin’s goal stood, officially tying the game up.
In overtime, it was an even stalemate between the Devils and Hurricanes. However, in the final ten seconds of overtime, Devils defenseman John Moore passed the puck to Zajac, who went on a breakaway, attempted a deke to put the puck past Cam Ward, but to no avail; an impressive attempt nonetheless. The game then went into a sudden death shootout.
On the Devils first attempt, Parenteau shot the puck off Ward’s left shoulder on a wrist shot to put the Devils up 1-0. Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner attempted to even it up, however, he got the puck tangled up with his stick and Schneider was able to knock the puck away. On the Devils second attempt, center Jacob Josefson rushed in with a deke to Ward’s right side, but the puck bounced off Ward’s right blocker pad. Defenseman Jaccob Slavin attempted to put the Hurrincanes on the board, but his shot bounced right off Schneider’s body. Enter Taylor Hall to win the game. Hall used two quick dekes and fired a wrist shot right past Ward to give the Devils the victory.
“I thought that we had some pushback, just in a situation where we had lost a little momentum in the second period,” said Devils Head Coach John Hynes. “I thought right from the first shift where Zajac’s line, they did a nice job of setting the tone of how we wanted to play. We were much harder on pucks, more threatening.”
Cory Schneider was brilliant in net, stopping 31 of 33 shots on goal. Not only that, but he had goal support tonight from his offense to help keep the Devils in the game.
“We played a good game,” said Schneider. “We put a lot of shots on net. Forwards played pretty well and didn’t give an inch. It’s my job to come up with some saves to keep us in it and keep the game tied and we found a way.”
The Devils now go on the road to Buffalo to face the Sabres (5-5-3, 13 pts) this Friday night.