It looked like deja vu to Cory Schneider going into the third period, as the Devils faced a 2-1 deficit. By the time the final horn sounded in PNC Arena in Raleigh, Schneider saw his biggest goal support as a New Jersey Devil. The team rallied to score four goals in a 7:48 span, resulting in a 5-2 victory.
Mark Fayne got the scoring started as the Devils big line of Jaromir Jagr, Travis Zajac and Dainius Zubrus got the play started with a heavy forcheck.
Zubrus passed up a shot in the slot to pass to Jagr who mishandled the puck, but hopped on it along the boards. All three forwards engaged on the puck before Zubrus found a wide open Mark Fayne at the point who wristed it off a Hurricanes Defenseman Ron Hanisey’s stick and past Cam Ward.
The first period ended with the masked men playing very well, and it continued into the second. Cory Schneider just wished the rest of his team followed suit.
Early in the second the Hurricanes tied it up with a point shot that deflected off of a Devil and went right to Jeff Skinner on the side of the net who was all alone and beat Cory Schneider with a wrist shot.
Minutes later the Devils’ nightmare second period continued, as Jordan Staal gave the Hurricanes a lead on a breakaway after finding a soft spot
in the defense during a four on four. The play was started after a beautiful pass from the Carolina goal line by Justin Faulk.
Things looked bleak and it climaxed at the end of the second as the Devils had Cam Ward out of his net and the puck was on Zubrus’ stick, but the shot was saved by defenseman Brett Bellamore.
The Devils finally got it going on an innocent looking play in the middle of the third period.
Michael Ryder entered the zone and fed Damien Brunner in the high slot who touched it to Andrei Loktionov who then wristed it on net and it squeezed through Ward’s five hole and just crossed to line to tie the game.
On that line’s next shift after some good puck movement they drew a penalty. On that Power Play Andy Greene kept his hot streak going.
He found Eric Gelinas on the point who fired a shot. It hit and injured Canes defenseman Bellamore in the back of the leg. As he fell to the ice the puck found Adam Henrique who was all alone and got his stick on it and put it up and over Ward for his 6th of the year giving the team a 3-2 lead.
The Devils kept the pedal to the floor as Jon Merrill collected his first NHL point.
As the Carolina defense collasped on Jagr in the corner he found the rookie at the point what let a slap shot go. On the way in Danius Zubrus deflected it in past Ward. These three goals came in a 5:09 span
Under three minutes later Jaromir Jagr continuted his climb up the NHL record books as he collected his own rebound and put it past ward after a long pass by Zajac. This is career number 692 to tie Steve Yzerman on the all time goal list.
The Devils wouldn’t score anymore, but neither would the Hurricanes as Cory Schneider got his first back to back wins as a New Jersey Devil.
Despite collecting his first NHL point, Jon Merrill looked very good in his own zone making some very good plays breaking up attacks with his stick.
Anton Volchencov returned to the line up after a groin injury and looked very good as well blocking shots. He took a spill into the boards in the second but returned for his next shift.
The Devils take on the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night at the Rock where it is expected that Martin Brodeur will get the start.
1. Jaromir Jagr
2. Dainus Zubrus
3. Travis Zajac
Mark Fayne (1), Andrei Loktionov (2), Adam Henrique (6), Dainus Zubrus (4) and Jaromir Jagr (11)
Jaromir Jagr (10, 11), Andy Greene (9), Dainus Zubrus (8), Damien Brunner (4), Michael Ryder (4), Travis Zajac (6), Eric Gelinas (8) and Jon Merrill (1)