New Jersey Devils: Pucks and Pitchforks Second Round Preview

Nico Hischier #13 and Vitek Vanecek #41 of the New Jersey Devils celebrate the win over the Carolina Hurricanes after the game at Prudential Center on March 12, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. The New Jersey Devils defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Nico Hischier #13 and Vitek Vanecek #41 of the New Jersey Devils celebrate the win over the Carolina Hurricanes after the game at Prudential Center on March 12, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. The New Jersey Devils defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils beat the New York Rangers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After 11 long years of waiting for another playoff series win, the Devils are heading to the second round. Waiting for them is the Carolina Hurricanes. After going 2-1-1 in the regular season, two very interesting teams are ready to face off with a trip to the Eastern Conference Final on the line.

With this historic moment, we brought the Pucks and Pitchforks writers to get together to make predictions for Round 2. We did this before Round 1, and the Devils won. So, for superstition’s sake, we have to bring it back.

Nick Villano: The Devils looked like the much better team in the second half of the season. The Hurricanes survived to hold onto the Metropolitan Division. Go with New Jersey in an incredibly fun series. Devils in 7.

Vinnie Parise:I believe that the New Jersey Devils vs Carolina Hurricanes series will feature lots of speed and very few goals. In the end, New Jersey’s edge in skill up front should be the difference in the series.

Dan Rice: This series will offer a different challenge to the Devils, with the Canes being able to match the Devils speed. But top to bottom New Jersey has a better roster, better top-end players, and a healthier team. Every game will be close and probably a few OT games will be needed, but Devils in 6.

Charlie Borges Jr.: This series is wide open. The Hurricanes are down 3 great players up front, and the Devils need to take advantage of that. The key will be the defensive play of both teams, which will be very tight. I said the Devils would lose in six to the Rangers and was wrong. This time? I cannot doubt this team. Devils in 7.

Rob DeLuca: Hurricanes are riddled with injuries as we enter this 2nd round. The Devils will look to play their game and take advantage of a depleted Carolina squad. I got the first-round prediction spot on.. let’s roll with Devils in 6!

Sam Annaluru: This is a very interesting tactical battle between two very different teams. NJ with the predominantly rush offense and Carolina’s aggressive forechecking and defensive structure. The key matchup here will be if Aho/Staal keeps up with and contain Hischier/Hughes. Devils in 6.

David Holliday: The Hurricanes are a beat-up team, and without some big names up front, the Devils have to take advantage. If they keep playing the solid defensive game and getting even decent goaltending, this should be a win. That is only if the forward core can show up more than they did in the first series. Devils in 6.

Next. 5 Reasons Devils Can Win Stanley Cup. dark

Joe Stanislau: Well, I did predict the Devils in six against the Rangers, but I was a game short. Against Carolina, I see Timo Meier, Dawson Mercer, Dougie Hamilton, Kevin Bahl, and Jesper Bratt being key in this series. The level of perseverance, honor, and team effort as a cooperative all year is really coming to fruition. That will win this series. Devils in 6.

Jonathan Bailey: For me, the key is not to get cocky and keep their legs fresh. Don’t overuse Nico Hischier’s line and Jack Hughes’ line. The Hurricanes are banged up and have a slow back end, so if the Devils can manage their forecheck, they’ll get plenty of opportunities to get the goals they missed out on in Round 1. Stay out of the box and keep Sebastian Aho in check, and this one could be over quickly. Devils in 5.

David Williams: I could see the Devils pushing the pace in this series with a battered and beaten Hurricanes team. Carolina’s 4 days off can potentially do more bad than good, and the Devils are feeling good after their win in 7. Guys like Timo Meier, Nico Hischier, and Jesper Bratt will heat up in this series, and the Devils will take advantage of a less-than-healthy Hurricanes team. Devils in 6.

Tyler Russell: The Devils have quickly regained their style of play after falling down 0-2, and they look dominant. Expect Akira Schmid to get tested some more by the quick Hurricanes offense, but he has proven he can handle it. It is also worth noting that the Devils are past the first-round jitters, so we should not expect another slow start. Devils in 6.

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Luke Garrison: When I think of these two teams in a series, I think of speed and defense. While the Canes have injuries, they still have solid guys like Brent Burns, Jesper Fast, Jacob Slavin, Sebastian Aho, and our old friend Stefan Noesen. For the Devils to win this series, have Dougie Hamilton and Erik Haula, who have experience playing on the Hurricanes, step up. Devils in 6.

Marci Rubin: The Devils look to carry their momentum into Round 2 and continue to prove people wrong. They’ve been the road warriors this year, so the Hurricanes’ home-ice advantage won’t scare them. The Canes are missing some injured players but expect them to apply pressure and take a lot of shots on goal. The Devils’ speed will be important, and they must do a better job of staying out of the box. They’re the ‘little engine that could’. Devils in 6.