NEWARK, N.J. -- This was more like it, the kind of game people were expecting from these two teams. After a resounding 4-1 New Jersey win in Game 1 on Wednesday, the Hurricanes rebounded with a much stronger effort Friday night at the Prudential Center.
And they were rewarded with an overtime goal from perhaps the unlikeliest of sources in a 2-1 victory to even the playoff series at 1-1.
Two minutes and 40 seconds into overtime, with the Hurricanes' outworking the Devils in the zone for most of the extra frame, defenseman
"You've got to get to the front of the net, especially against a great goaltender like Marty," Staal said. "Playoff goals are scored that way. It's about getting the top of the crease and taking those shots from the point and battling for rebounds."
From the start of the extra frame, Carolina controlled the ice, keeping the puck deep in the Devils zone, getting the only three scoring chances of the period. "I think we got caught on our heels a little bit, running around a couple times," Devils defenseman
It was a better showing from the Hurricanes, who admitted they weren't satisfied at all with their Game 1 performance. "If it looked like there was a strategic difference it was just based on our last game because we didn't play our game of even come close to it," Carolina coach
From the start, the Hurricanes showed that they weren't afraid to be more physical, finishing checks and standing ground in front of the Devils net. And although they paid with time in the penalty box, New Jersey didn't collect, unable to convert on its last four power plays. Despite creating chances, the Devils failed to bury one on Carolina goalie
"I think [tonight's game] was more like what we were expecting of this series," said Hurricanes winger
Yes, this was much more like what we all were expecting, a tight game with great goaltending, impressive defensive plays and strong, physical play.
With about five minutes left in the second period, Devils captain