Analysis from New Jersey
→ Another game and another one-goal decision for the Carolina Hurricanes, who again skated in a closely contested match that required extra hockey to determine a winner. Tonight, the New Jersey Devils defeated the Hurricanes for the second time in as many games in a 3-2 shootout decision.
"They had a strong start. They did a good job of forechecking and making it hard on us to make plays out of our own end. We did the exact same thing in the second period, so it went the other way," Jordan Staal said. "I thought we did a good job throughout the rest of the game. We made a lot of good plays and a lot of good looks to get another one but came up short."
Video: CAR Recap: Staal tallies a PPG, Ward stops 39 shots
→ PA Parenteau and Taylor Hall scored in the shootout for the Devils, while Jeff Skinner and Jaccob Slavin were denied at the other end. That was the difference, as the extra point went home with the home team.
→ The Hurricanes were slow to get going in tonight's match, as they were outshot 19-8 in the first 20 minutes. A snipe of a shot from PA Parenteau put the Devils on top 1-0 in the opening frame, but Cam Ward's 18 saves kept his team within striking distance.
"I thought we were good at times. I didn't mind us. They got a little momentum off their power play in the first period, and that's what tilted that period," head coach Bill Peters said. "The rest of the game I think was even."
"They came out a lot faster than we did. We had trouble getting it up from the D to the forwards, getting it in and getting some zone time," Klas Dahlbeck said. "I thought that was the biggest difference in the second. We played a little more with the puck."
Ward has now assembled three quality starts in a row. Tonight, he stopped 39 of 41 shots, and he's made 94 saves on 100 shots in his last three starts (.940 save percentage).
"Wardo was good here tonight, and he's been good here for three or four games in a row," Peters said. "That's a positive sign."
→ The Devils knotted the game at two in the third period when Nick Lappin smacked in a loose puck in the slot. Vernon Fiddler entangled himself with Ward's stick in the crease, and Bill Peters challenged on the basis of goaltender interference. The officials, however, ruled it a good goal after review.
→ In the last week-and-a-half, the Hurricanes' power play had sputtered after starting hot out of the gate. Jordan Staal ended an 0-for-12 power-play drought with his goal on the man advantage in the second period, which made it a 1-1 game. Jaccob Slavin's incredible individual effort created the scoring play, as he skated the puck into the zone through multiple defenders and then shook off a body check along the near boards to slide the puck over to Staal for his fourth goal of the season.
"Jake did a great job finding a way to get the puck in the zone there," Staal said. "We might not have drawn it up that way, but good players find a way to get it to the net. He did a great job."
→ With Justin Faulk (upper body) out of the lineup for at least this week, the Hurricanes will have a bit of a different look on defense, and tonight it was in the form of both Jakub Nakladal and Klas Dahlbeck, acquired in early October, drawing into the lineup.
"They both work real hard. I thought they did some good things here tonight," Peters said. "Dahlbeck got rewarded when he just put it on the net."
Dahlbeck appeared on the scoresheet with his first goal as a Hurricane and first since Oct. 25, 2015 in Toronto. After work down low from Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm, the puck popped out to Dahlbeck at the point, and his quick wrister found its way through Lindholm's screen and past Cory Schneider. That goal would give the Hurricanes a 2-1 edge heading into the locker room after 40 minutes.
"It feels great to be back in the lineup again," Dahlbeck said. "I really have to show that I can help this team win. Unfortunately we couldn't do that today. That's not great, but I think parts of this game were really good."
→ The Hurricanes have come and gone and then been away for a while, but that's about to change. Carolina will begin a five-game homestand on Thursday with a cross-conference face off against the Anaheim Ducks.
"It's huge," Dahlbeck said. "We've taken a lot of games to overtime and the shootout, but we've got to be able to get that extra point."
"We can definitely take some good things out of it," Staal said. "There are still little things you always want to work on, and that's what we're going to do."
"It's a real good schedule coming up for us, and we've got to take advantage of that," Peters said.