Hurricanes hope to bounce back vs. Devils in Game Two

Author:
Publish date:

Carolina at New Jersey, Eastern Conference quarterfinal, Game Two, 7:30 p.m. EST

NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- After watching somewhat of a no-show

performance by his Carolina Hurricanes in the opening game of

the playoffs, Paul Maurice was frank in saying that his

post-game comments weren't all hugs and kisses.

Maurice wasn't totally negative either after the New Jersey

Devils outworked the Hurricanes 4-1 on Wednesday night to take

the lead in the best-of-7 series that resumes on Friday.

"We did not prepare that way," Maurice said Thursday after

Carolina skated less than an hour at the Prudential Center. "We

got a good dose of playoff hockey handed right to us last night

and that's never something that you enjoy. They were really

good. That's the bottom line. They played a heck of a game."

The bottom line is that the Hurricanes didn't play anything like

the team won 9 of its last 11 regular-season games.

Their errors were blatant.

Defenseman Tim Gleason jumped on the ice too early in the

opening minute and drew a penalty for too many players on the

ice.

Goaltender Cam Ward gave away the puck late in the first period

to set up the game's first goal by defenseman Mike Mottau, who

had one just goal in the regular season.

Leading goal scorer Eric Staal was outworked by Zach Parise in

the corner early in the second period for the Devils' second

goal, and veteran Rod Brind'Amour had his pocket picked by Brian

Gionta later in the period, setting up Patrik Elias' tally.

"We played a regular-season type of game yesterday and they

played a playoff type of game and that was the difference,"

Carolina right wing Tuomo Ruutu said. "It was a big difference,

and it is a big difference. We can see the result. I mean it

wasn't pretty yesterday. There is no time to waste. We have to

be ready for tomorrow."

Ward echoed the feeling although he waited almost 14 hours after

the game to express it. He was abandoned by his team several

times in goal and he refused to talk about it after the game.

He calmly discussed it Thursday.

"I don't think it is a time to panic, but at the same time we

realize we have to play better," Ward said. "I am confident that

we will be able to rebound and play well. We've shown these last

couple of months the potential that we can play. Like I said,

last night is over and done with. We have to move on, that's the

beauty of a best-of-7 series. Tomorrow, I believe we will be

much better."

Maurice said that his team's biggest problem was not moving as a

five-man unit, either on offense or defense. Too many times, the

Hurricanes tried to force passes into areas that the Devils were

taking away.

"In the playoffs it's not about not wanting it," Maurice said.

"It about getting it out of their bodies. It's in their heads.

They know what they want to do and I'm trying to create an

environment for them to do it. The problem is there is another

team doing the same thing on the other side, and they did a

better job than us last night."

Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner refused to say his club

dominated the opener, noting they only led 1-0 after the first

period.

"One game doesn't do a lot," he said. "It puts you a step

closer."

Parise expects much better from Carolina on Friday.

"It's a good team, a really good team," he said. "They are here

for a reason. Everyone expects them to have a great game

tomorrow night, so we have to be ready, too."

One key for the Devils was the play of the line of John Madden,

Jay Pandolfo and Brandon Shanahan. It had the checking

assignment on Staal, Eric Cole and Ruutu and limited Carolina's

top line to four shots.

"It's going to be harder," Madden said. "Friday is going to be

harder. Sunday is going to be harder. It's just going to get

harder. Even though we won Game 1, we have to figure how to win

Game 2, and when that is over win Game 3, until the series is

done. That's the mentality we need to have.

"I don't think they had their best game and I am expecting a lot

different tomorrow," Madden added.

TOP HEADLINES

Free agency
Play

NHL Free Agency Frenzy 2021: Signing Tracker and Analysis

Follow along with all the big deals with live updates and instant analysis from The Hockey News' writing staff throughout the first day of the NHL's signing season.

Derek Ryan
Play

Oilers Sign Derek Ryan to Two-Year Deal

Edmonton adds a little more depth at the center position with a deal that adds a face that's no stranger to the city.

D8FBB57C-1D2D-4489-9533-B304FC2BAF9A
Play

Avalanche Acquire Goaltender Kuemper from Coyotes

The Colorado Avalanche have acquired goaltender Darcy Kuemper from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a first-round pick and forward Connor Timmins.