The Carolina Hurricanes
don't need any pep talks heading into Sunday night's do-or-die matchup against the New Jersey Devils
in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.
There's no need for reminders of the situation they're in. They know. Most of them have been here before, dating back to their run to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
"It's the biggest game we've had this season," Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour
said Friday. "All you can do is go out and give it everything we have, and we have done that. Everyone's playing their hardest. We just haven't gotten that one break here or there."
The Hurricanes certainly didn't get any breaks on Thursday night, when they played well enough to win only to run into a brick wall named Martin Brodeur
in a 1-0 loss at the Prudential Center. Brodeur made 44 saves for his 23rd postseason shutout, tying him with Patrick Roy
for the most in League history.
That's why Carolina didn't spend much time -- if any -- dwelling on the Game 5 defeat. Had Brodeur merely played well, the Hurricanes probably would have won. Instead, though, the Devils' goalie was extraordinary.
"I think there's a good feeling in here," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice
said. "It certainly wasn't because of a lack of effort. It was an exciting hockey game. Sometimes you just have to take it for what it is and just move on."
"It's the biggest game we've had this season. All you can do is go out and give it everything we have, and we have done that. Everyone's playing their hardest. We just haven't gotten that one break here or there." -- Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour
Same goes for Carolina goalie Cam Ward
, who made 41 saves of his own on Thursday. The 2006 Conn Smythe winner has no doubt that his team will be ready when the puck drops at the RBC Center.
"There's no question we've got the experience," Ward said. "I think the experience definitely helps you. Even though it's a Game 6, we've got to treat it like it's a Game 7 because it's do-or-die right now. I'm confident that we'll be prepared real well."