The Carolina Hurricanes dominated the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at home Wednesday night.
New Jersey was riding high after its Game 7 win over the New York Rangers to advance to this series with the Hurricanes.
But Carolina was rested after taking down the New York Islanders in six games, and the Hurricanes wasted no time getting after their opponent when the puck dropped in Raleigh.
The Hurricanes dominated the Devils from the jump, getting 13 shot attempts off to New Jersey’s one to start the game. On that 13th attempt, Brett Pesce got an offensive zone faceoff at his stick, waited for the right time and sent a screaming wrister toward net, which Devils goaltender Akira Schmid didn’t see through multiple skaters.
It was Pesce’s first goal of the playoffs, and Jordan Staal tallied his third assist.
Two more goals went the home team’s way after that. Seth Jarvis blocked a pass and sped down ice to lift one past Schmid to make it 2-0.
Not even two minutes into the second period, a battle on the boards in the Hurricanes’ offensive zone saw the puck land on Jesper Fast’s stick. After throwing it over to Jordan Martinook, he quickly found Jesperi Kotkaniemi for a wide-open net behind Schmid.
And the Hurricanes blew the doors open in this one early.
The Devils cut the lead to 3-1 on a goal by Nathan Bastian.
But Carolina kept the Devils, who scored four goals against Igor Shesterkin Monday night, quiet on offense to start the game. With 25 minutes gone in the contest, the Devils had only three shots on net.
New Jersey ended up tightening its defense and getting more shots on Anderson, but to no avail. Instead, what ended up being the dagger in the Devils’ Game 1 chances came halfway through the third period.
After a good forecheck, the Hurricanes quickly rushed down ice, and Brady Skjei slapped a shot past Schmid for his first goal of the playoffs to make it 4-1.
An empty net goal from Jesper Fast with 3:16 remaining made it 5-1.
Carolina will look to keep its momentum on home ice Friday for Game 2. The puck drops at 8 p.m. ET.