The Devils had a 2-0 lead in the final five minutes of regulation time, but eventually fell in a Carolina comeback that saw the Hurricanes triumph, 3-2 in overtime, Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center .
Egor Charangovich and Nico Hischier scored for New Jersey.
Brady Skjei and Nino Niederreiter scored for the Hurricanes in the third, while Seth Jarvis scored in overtime for the win.
“We knew we were going to have to play a tight game. We couldn’t trade chances with them with (Jesper) Bratt out of the lineup,” head coach Lindy Ruff said. “We tried to take a disciplined approach to the game. We thought we had them where we could beat.
“Mistakes that you will have to learn from and that you will have to live with.”
Video: Lost to Carolina | POST-MATCH REPORT
Here are some observations from the game…
The Devils went 0-for-31 and went 11 straight without a power play score. It came in the second half when Jesper BoqvistThe shot from the high notch was redirected on goal by Sharangovich. The count broke a scoreless game to give New Jersey a 1-0 lead late in the second period.
“I thought (Damon Severson) made a hell of a play on goal,” Ruff said. “He found our player open in the hole. We had them shorthanded for a second. I guess Bo’s shot hit Shara’s stick and went in.”
Boqvist continues to produce for the Devils. He now has a four-game career point streak (3G-1A) and six points (4G-2A) in his last seven games.
Captain Nico Hischier scored a crucial insurance goal in the third period, his 21st of the season. Hischier has 35 points in 30 games since the all-star break, the most on the team.
“I try to play the same way every game,” said Hischier. “I just feel like the pucks are coming in now. Earlier in the year they didn’t. I don’t feel like I’ve changed.”
“There’s no one on the team that tops him,” Ruff said. “His puck fights have been phenomenal, parlor games, 1 on 1 fights. He steps in now and takes it to the net and creates a lot of his own opportunities. In the last two or three months I think that we have the real Nico now after dealing with all the injuries last year and this year. His game has been really good.”
The Devils played one of their best defensive games of the season. They gave Carolina no opportunity to rush, played compact around the net to keep most shots in the outside perimeter, blocked shots and cleared rebounds. And goalie Jon Gillies had one of his best performances of the year for the Devils.
Although Gillies was not tested much with high quality chances, he was forced to stop a 2-on-1 by sliding to his left and absorbing a shot from Brett Pesce. Probably his best save.
“Jon gave us a great save,” Ruff said. “If Jon doesn’t make that save it’s a 1-1 game because a quarter or two later Nico went down and scored to make it 2-0.”
Defender Nikita Okhotyuk showed his worth to the team. After Gillies made that great save on Brett Pesce, Max Domi slashed the goalie. Okhotiuk went right after him, slamming him against the boards and getting right in the face. It’s the attitude, the sandpaper and the grunt the Devils need, and Okhotiuk delivers.
“That’s exactly what you want to see. You want your keeper taken care of, Ruff said. “He tackled it straight away. He played two solid games for us.”
“As goalkeepers we always appreciate that,” Gillies said. “He’s played fantastically the last two games. He’s fun to watch and fun to play.”
Before Tomas Tatar played in his 700and NHL career game.