It was another high-scoring game at PNC Arena, however this time, the Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t outpace the opposition, falling to the New Jersey Devils 5-3 on Saturday night.
Despite scoring the initial goal and regaining the lead after New Jersey tied it up 1-1, costly mistakes and turnovers prevented the Hurricanes from gaining much momentum and paved the way for Carolina’s second home loss this season.
“Some timely goals that sucked the wind out of us a little bit,” said captain Jordan Staal. “There’s a lot of us and a lot of things we were doing that just wasn’t good enough, and we are going to have to sit on this tomorrow and come back ready to work Monday.”
The opening goal was netted by Warren Foegele, this time onsides, as he joined an ever-shrinking list of Hurricanes looking for their first goals of the season. On a slick pass from Sebastian Aho, Foegele found himself behind the Devils defense where he put the puck on his backhand and slid it through five-hole of New Jersey netminder Makenzie Blackwood.
The first punch delivered to the Canes came when the Devils tied it minutes later as a wild rebound ricocheted off of the end boards right to Miles Wood who was set up right beside the net to bang in the rebound.
Carolina’s power play had life initially, re-establishing the team’s lead as Teuvo Teravainen knocked home the rebound from Andrei Svechnikov shot which went off of Blackwood right to him.
The Hurricanes fell victim to another unfortunate event with New Jersey grabbing the equalizer in the final 30 seconds of the first.
While the Devils were on the power play, a shot was absorbed by Hurricanes goalie James Reimer … or so he and the rest of the Canes had thought. But unfortunately for the home squad, it was sitting loose by Reimer’s skate. This year’s first overall pick Jack Hughes was the only one who could see the loose puck and simply tapped it in for the tying goal.
“The first period I thought was really good,” said head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “We probably deserved better, we played like we needed to and then it got away from us. We really kind of gave them a few goals. It was a tough one because we never got going after that. The game was still there for how bad I thought we were playing, but we never got going enough to create enough mojo.”
The Devils got their first lead of the night right off the opening of the second period as a bad turnover led to a 3-on-1 rush for New Jersey. Nico Hischier didn’t need the help, however, undressing the usually impervious Jaccob Slavin, and roofing it over Reimer.
“I think this was more of us,” said alternate captain Jaccob Slavin. “We had some turnovers at the blueline and that seems to be our struggle. Most nights when we get down in these games it’s not taking care of the puck at the blue lines.”
Carolina found a bit of offense again as the suffocating forecheck the Canes exhibited in the second led to the tying goal. Erik Haula slammed it home from right out in front off of a centering feed from Ryan Dzingel behind the net.
The team wound up in a bit of hostilities as the second expired. Foegele took a risky cut in on Wayne Simmonds as the horn sounded to try and get the puck and Simmonds took exception to what could have been a blindside hit had Simmonds not been turning.
Svechnikov came to the defense of his friend and teammate and that is where things escalated. Simmonds and Kevin Rooney each seemed to have challenged Svechnikov to a fight, which Svechnikov wisely declined, and even the Devils’ PK Subban started to get into it with Svechnikov.
Luckily that was as far as those hostilities went, but later in the third period, Dzingel came to the defense of Haula who had absorbed what could have also been a dangerous hit near the benches from Kyle Palmieri
The Devils stuck the dagger into the Canes as Subban redirected a shot from the blue line that found its way past Reimer after he had turned it over along the boards.
New Jersey added an empty-netter at the tail end of the game.
“When you’re not smart with the puck, that is what’s going to happen,” Brind’Amour said. “The third goal, we gave it to them, we had the puck right at their line and we decided to do something cute and next thing you know it’s in your net. Last one, no excuse for that one, just leave our guy, decided to leave him at the net. Just things like that, that’s just not how you’re going to get it done. It’s frustrating, certainly not how we want to end a good homestand but pick up the pieces and be back at it here tomorrow.”
The Hurricanes will hit the road for one game taking on a divisional rival in the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. before returning home again.