Tonight’s Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (44-26-7) face off against the Carolina Hurricanes (33-35-10). This is the fourth and final game of the series. The Devils lead, 2-1-0.
The Last Devils Game: Kris Versteeg scored a late goal, and Jonathan Toews tallied the only shootout goal to defeat the Devils, 2-1. Versteeg scored a 6-on-5 goal with 26 second left in the third period to tie the game. Martin Brodeur finished with 26 saves.
The Last Hurricanes Game: The Canes lost to the Senators, 4-3, in a shootout Thursday. Erik Karlsson scored with 7.7 seconds remaining to force overtime. Alex Kovalev scored the only shootout goal for Ottawa.
The Last Devils – Hurricanes Game: The Hurricanes defeated the Devils, 5-2, on February 13. Jussi Jokinen and Ray Whitney scored two goals each in the win. For a more detailed recap, you can check out the recap from the game here.
Tonight’s Matchup: The Devils really missed a golden opportunity last night. If they held on for the win, they could have an outright lead in the division. Instead, they’re now tied with Pittsburgh, and both teams have five games remaining. The Devils have the tougher schedule, and every point counts. Not only that, but the Devils are making mistakes and allowing teams to score late, which can swing a playoff series toward the other team. Here’s what Brodeur said about last night’s loss.
“It is a concern because I think we’re going to play some tight games in the playoffs and losing games like that can change the momentum of a series,” Brodeur said. “We have to bear down in those situations. With a minute left, we have to be desperate. The puck needs to get out; we need to get it out by kicking it, batting it … anything. It’s got to get out.”
Tonight provides one of those opportunities. Carolina has been hot, but the Devils have the opportunity to gain two big points. These are the games the Devils need to win. They’ll be without Jamie Langenbrunner, who’s getting a rest in tonight’s game.
Gametime is 7 p.m., and you can watch the action on MSG Plus or listen to the game on WFAN.