The New Jersey Devils, an organization that for so many people can be summed up in one man, couldn't have hoped for a better all-around team effort in their opening game of the playoffs. As a result, they skated away with a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes (
"The whole five-man unit was moving up and down the ice better," Devils center
It was very hard for the Hurricanes to establish much of anything, especially since they barely touched the puck. By the end of the second period, New Jersey had outshot Carolina 30-13, and in the end by 20. They came from everywhere. Forwards
But beyond the top two lines, which accounted for two-thirds of the Devils offense during the regular season, New Jersey was getting plenty of looks throughout its lineup.
"Through and through, I thought we got contributions from everyone," Devils coach
"If you play them physical and don't allow them to spend too much time in the offensive zone, they get frustrated," White's partner
Hurricanes head coach
"I don't get that sense from this team because we've played very well for two months," Maurice said. "We actually didn't have to go on the emotional roller coaster that most of those teams do because we were winning and kept the confidence."
But after Wednesday night's game, he may have to reevaluate his sense.
• Filmmaker and New Jersey icon
• At the morning skate, Eric Staal remembered the days when he used to play Parise in youth hockey tournaments in Thunder Bay, Ont., where Staal grew up. Primarily, he says, he remembers Parise's team always winning and the young Devil getting all the MVP awards. Er, sounding a little familiar ...
• Hurricanes center
• Officials called the game pretty loose. Only six penalties. Both teams did practice a good deal of discipline. That's pretty normal for the Hurricanes, who committed the fewest penalties during the regular season. But still, amen to letting them play.
• Not only did the Devils show a lot of muscle, they used it to their advantage. Two goals came as a result of a player directly outworking their 'Canes counterpart on the puck. Parise, checked on the boards, kept Staal down to beat him to the loose puck and score in the second period, and Elias wouldn't have had that one-timer had New Jersey's