March 9, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goalie Dan Ellis (31) dives to stop a shot by New Jersey Devils right wing Tom Kostopoulos (25) during the 3rd period at the PNC center. The Hurricanes defeated the Devils 6-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Kovalchuk’s Strong Game Cannot Bail Out Devils, Fall 6-3 To Carolina


Raleigh, N.C. - The New Jersey Devils took on the Carolina Hurricanes in Carolina tonight in what was their second meeting of the season. The Devils lost the first meeting 4-2 in New Jersey on Feb. 12. This game was not much better.

The Devils got down early in the game and could not recover. The Hurricanes scored two unanswered goals in the opening period. One on a powerplay from Alex Semin and the other by Jay Harrison. The Devils cut the deficit to one at the end of the first on a shorthanded goal from Ilya Kovalchuk, but that was the closest they would get.

The Canes came out strong in the second scoring three unanswered goals at 4:42, 11:09, and 17:15. Johan Hedberg let up a few soft goals including missing covering the puck and Jeff Skinner tapped it in to give the Canes a 5-1 lead.

After the second period Hedberg was done for the night. Rookie Jeff Frazee made his NHL debut starting the third period for the Devils. He allowed no goals on three shots. Jiri Tlusty added a empty net goal with 1:14 left in the third.

Ilya Kovalchuk

March 9, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Ilya Kovalchuk (17) is congratulated by teammate center Adam Henrique (14) after his 1st period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC center. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports


The Devils started to mount a comeback early in the third on goals from Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias. However, that was the end of their scoring.

The Devils were short two defenseman enterring the game as Henrik Tallinder and Bryce Salvador did not make the trip to Carolina. Tallinder is facing an upper-body injury and Salvador has a lower-body injury.

The Devils have been plagued by injuries as of late with Dainius Zubrus and Martin Brodeur on Injured Reserve, Ryan Carter just coming off an injury, and Tallinder and Salvador out.

The Devils hope to regroup against the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow at home. The Devils lost to the Jets in their last two meetings 4-2 and 3-1.

Hopefully Frazee will get a start tomorrow night to give Hedberg rest, but Lou Lamoriello may send down Frazee and call up Maxime Clermont. Keith Kinkaid got sent back to the Albany Devils after replacing Hedberg against Tampa Bay, but no one knows what the Devils will do now.

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