Recap: Devils Take First Place in Metropolitan Division With 3-0 Win Over HurricanesDate: March 14, 2023
By: Ryan Henry
Vincent Carchietta / USA TODAY Sports
In what could possibly be the biggest game of the regular season, the New Jersey Devils made a statement, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 3-0.
The Hurricanes were undermanned entering this game as they were without star winger Andrei Svechnikov who is currently tied for second on the team with 55 points.
It was obvious that the Hurricanes were missing Svechnikov, as they struggled to get any sort of offensive flow the whole game.
Their powerplay, which ranks in the top half of the league, looked especially stagnant. In three attempts, they didn’t score a goal and only recorded nine shots.
This is the second game in a row where the Hurricanes got shut out, losing to the Vegas Golden Knights previously 4-0.
Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour spoke about the team’s recent offensive struggles after the game, saying “Right now, we’re in a stretch where we haven’t been able to find the net.”
Jack Hughes got things started for the Devils with a goal just seven minutes into the first. He stole the puck from defender Calvin de Haan in Carolina’s defensive zone then shot it right past goalie Pyotr Kochetkov.
Mr. Steal Yo Puck pic.twitter.com/ZJPib78xwP— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) March 12, 2023
It didn’t take long for the Devils to add another goal onto the board. Less than two minutes after the Hughes goal, Ryan Graves and Jesse Puljujarvi each picked up two-minute penalties for roughing.
With the extra space to work with, the Devils took advantage. Hughes took the puck in the neutral zone and made a beautiful lead pass to Jesper Bratt who blew past Kochetkov for the early 2-0 lead.
With Hughes’s assist, he tied Taylor Hall for the most multi-point games in a season for a New Jersey Devil.
The lead would remain the same until the second period. Four minutes into the second, Kochetkov was trying to play the puck when Hughes stole it away. A scramble at the net left Bratt with a point-blank shot with no one in net. He sank the gimmie and extended the Devils lead to 3-0 which they would hold onto for the rest of the night.
Jack Hughes will steal the puck ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. FROM ANYBODY.— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) March 13, 2023
Including your goalie. pic.twitter.com/dRb6aeGdrt
Devils’ goalie Vitek Vanecek picked up his third shutout of the season, his first since the Chicago Blackhawks game on Dec. 6, 2022.
Devils head coach Lindy Ruff spoke on Vanecek’s performance after the game. “He [Vanecek] was really sharp tonight,” Ruff said. “When the game tittered and may have gone their way, he made a couple of big saves you’ve got to give him credit for.”
With this win, the Devils take the season series over the Hurricanes and move into first place in the Metropolitan Division at 94 points.
The Devils will get one day off before they host the Tampa Bay Lightning for two games in three days.
Ryan Henry can be reached at email@example.com.
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