RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes ended a three-game home win streak, falling 5-3 to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.
Following an energetic 7-3 win over Detroit the night before, the Hurricanes didn’t execute to their level to hold on to leads nor comeback from a deficit.
Devils netminder MacKenzie Blackwood made 24 saves to post the win while New Jersey generated its offense from five different players – capped off by PK Subban’s eventual game-winner.
Warren Foegele, Teuvo Teravainen and Erik Haula contributed to Carolina’s offense, but it wasn’t enough to support goaltender James Reimer who took the loss on 21 saves.
“We were making it to easy on them in transition and tired out our D corps,” captain Jordan Staal said.
“Too many turnovers, too many mistakes ended up kind of wearing ourselves out.”
A good first period
The Devils played a controlled opening period, held onto the puck in long stretches and worked to slow Carolina’s rushes with bodies positioned throughout the neutral zone.
Foegele’s first goal of the season put the Hurricanes up 1-0 before Kyle Wood evened it up at the 11:28 mark.
After Teravainen beat Blackwood, New Jersey rookie Jack Hughes evened the score again as both teams headed into the intermission even at 2-2.
“The first period I thought was really good,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
“We probably deserved better. We played exactly how we needed to, but it got away from us. We really kinda gave them a few goals. A tough one, we never got going after that.”
When you’re tired, you’re not smart with the puck
Just 34 seconds into the second, Nico Hischier’s first goal of the season put pressure on Carolina to match it, trailing for the first time in the game.
Haula eventually did just that when he scored his team-leading eighth goal just past the midway point of the period.
Play ended heading into the second intermission with the score even at three apiece.
Pushing and shoving around the bench areas among players on the ice showed the wear both squads were facing in the back end of a back-to-back set.
“Some turnovers at the blue line continue to be a struggle when we get down in these games,” defenseman Jaccob Slavin said.
“That’s on us to stick to our game and do what we need to do to win hockey games. We didn’t put out our best out there tonight.”
Final period push falls short
Continued slack play with the puck in the defensive end eventually resulted in Subban’s tip-in off a Wood wrist shot and put Carolina’s shoulders to the mat.
They couldn’t pull even one last time and Damon Severson’s empty-net goal finalized that.
“We talked about it, just the mentality we need to play with, and we discussed it the last couple of weeks,” New Jersey coach John Hynes said.
“The players know what to do and tonight they were able to execute it.”
While the Devils tallied just their third win of the season, it handed the Hurricanes their fourth loss.
Not much to panic about just yet, but enough to understand that the little things must get done to earn opportunities to win.
“We just never got going and did not create enough mojo, we were just emotionally dead,” Brind’Amour concluded.
“But we will pick up the pieces and get back at it tomorrow, and the next day.”
Notables: Carolina finished 1-4 on the power play, 11-46 (23.9%) overall…On the PK, the Hurricanes went 3-4, 44-54 (81.5%) overall…Teravainen’s power-play goal marked the fourth consecutive game that the Hurricanes have scored a power-play goal. ICarolina has now scored on five of their last 12 power plays (10/26-11/2: 41.7%)…Teravainen leads the Hurricanes with seven power-play points this season (1g, 6a) with Andrei Svechnikov (2g, 4a) and Dougie Hamilton (1g, 5a) following with six each through 14 games.
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