The Devils defeated the Hurricanes, 3-1, Tuesday in Raleigh for back-to-back wins for the first time in a month thanks to goals by Adam Henrique, Michael Cammalleri and Kyle Palmieri. Here's what we learned:
1) Andy Greene left the game in the first period after taking what appeared to be a puck to the face and Kyle Quincey was off for repairs to start the second, but the rest of the defensive core stepped up to pick up the slack. They kept Carolina to the perimeter, quickly cleared pucks that managed to get through, avoided odd man rushes and generally did whatever needed doing to go home with a win. That's why the collective group earned tonight's hard hat after the victory. Special shoutout to Steven Santini for his seven (7!) hits tonight and the commitment to team defense in the final minutes of the game. The Canes were down by one and pulled Cam Ward with 2:45 left in regulation for the extra attacker and the first shot on goal came 45 seconds later when Palmieri scored the empty netter. Job well done all around.
2) Cory Schneider made 29 saves on the night, including several on his doorstep. Last night's shutout performance was good, but tonight he was great. When a reporter asked Henrique about all the nice saves Schneider made tonight, he smiled and said: "Ehhhh...They pay him a lot of money to make those saves." As a side note, it's amazing what two wins can do for team morale.
3) Speaking of Henrique, he and Cammalleri hit double digits tonight in the goal department, each notching their 10th markers of the season.
The Devils are off tomorrow and will practice on Thursday before hosting Toronto at The Rock on Friday, which will include a special pregame ceremony to induct Dr. John J. McMullen into the Devils Ring of Honor. Ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m.
Programming Note: The World Junior Championship semifinals and medal games will air live on NHL Network on Wednesday and Thursday. Joey Anderson and Team USA will face Yegor Rykov and Team Russia today at 3 p.m. while Blake Speers, Michael McLeod and Team Canada will play Sweden at 7:30 p.m. The winners play for gold at 8 p.m. on Thursday.