With the lockout done and the schedule for this shortened season already decided, The Devils’ Den will give you an in-depth look at the team’s opponents this season. We kicked things off with a look at two Northeast division teams, but today we’ll move south for our preview of the Carolina Hurricanes.
There’s a renewed sense of optimism surrounding the Carolina Hurricanes.
Despite missing the postseason for the third straight season, and finishing last in the Southeast Division, the Hurricanes were one of the teams itching for the lockout to end. A draft-day trade for Jordan Staal gives the team a big weapon down the middle, and the addition of sniper Alex Semin could turn into one of the best bargain signings by general manager Jim Rutherford.
Kirk Muller took over after a 4-10-2 November swoon last season, and brought the Hurricanes back from dead. At one point, the team sat just five points out of the playoffs before losing four of their last five games.
Carolina had a ton of momentum carrying them before the lockout. Can they find it again and contend for a spot in the top eight?
Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will preview the Devils 2010-2011 schedule, giving you an in-depth preview of the 29 other teams the Devils will face next season. We’ve already completed several previews, all of which can be found under the “Season Preview” tab. In today’s preview, we go to the Eastern Conference, taking a look at this season’s matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Hurricanes vs. Devils – Historical Data
In 109 all-time regular season meetings against the Hurricanes, the Devils are 50-40-12-2. New Jersey averages 3.18 goals against the ‘Canes, and allows them to average 2.97 goals. Last season, the Devils and Hurricanes faced off four times, with the Devils going 3-1-0.
The Devils won the first game against the Hurricanes last season, blanking Carolina, 2-0, on October 17. Jamie Langenbrunner scored the game’s first goal 26 seconds into the third period, putting the Devils ahead, 1-0. Zach Parise added an insurance goal, putting the Devils ahead, 2-0, with an empty-netter at 19:26 of the third. Martin Brodeur stopped 26 shots in the win. Cam Ward made 27 saves in the loss.
The Devils took their second game in a row against Carolina, defeating the ‘Canes, 4-2, on December 9. Patrik Elias opened the scoring, giving the Devils a lead, 1-0, at 11:11 of the first period. Andy Greene extended the lead, putting the Devils ahead, 2-0, with an even-strength tally at 17:53 of the period. Greene pushed the Devils farther ahead, giving them a 3-0 advantage with a powerplay goal at 6:05 of the second period. But Carolina would not quit.
Brandon Sutter put the ‘Canes on the board, scoring at 6:48 of the period and cutting the Devils’ lead to 3-1. Tuomo Ruutu cut the lead to one, scoring on the powerplay at 8:46 to shrink the Devils’ lead to 3-2. Rob Niedermayer put the nail in the coffin, scoring an empty-net, shorthanded goal at 19:59 of the third period to extend the Devils lead to 4-2.
The ‘Canes defeated the Devils, 5-2, on February 13 for their first win of the season series. Zach Boychuk scored the game’s first goal, giving Carolina a lead, 1-0, at 16:47 of the first period. Then it became the Ray Whitney show. Whitney scored two powerplay goals, one at 4:34 and the next a minute later, in the second period to put the ‘Canes ahead, 3-0, after two periods. Jussi Jokinen scored at 3:27 of the third period to extend the lead further, putting the ‘Canes ahead, 4-0. Goals by Parise at 7:26 and Brian Rolston at 17:02 cut the Hurricanes lead in half, 4-2. Jokinen would restore the three-goal advantage, scoring with the net empty at 18:31 to put the Hurricanes ahead, 5-2.
The Devils would avenge their loss, blanking the Hurricanes for the second time, 4-0, on April 3. Dainius Zubrus opened the scoring, putting the Devils ahead, 1-0, with a powerplay tally at 13:13 of the first period. Elias increased the lead, putting the Devils ahead, 2-0, at 18:18 of the first. The score would remain the same until the third period. Parise pushed the lead to 3-0 with an even-strength goal at 7:34 of the third. David Clarkson extended the lead, giving the Devils a 4-0 advantage with an empty-net goal at 18:28 of the third period.
Continue after the jump for the rest of the preview!