Eight Goals Help New Jersey Devils Strike Back At Home

May 7, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) celebrates his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period in game three of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
May 7, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) celebrates his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period in game three of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New Jersey Devils went down 2-0 in another series. Fans and analysts alike were worried about how much of a fight this team could put up against the Carolina Hurricanes, and they should have been. It was not the same feeling many got during the New York Rangers series, where they actually outplayed the opposition for long stretches and just couldn’t score. It was full-game dominance from the Hurricanes. They played a better system, were faster and far more physical and if things stayed that way, there was not a lot the Devils could do. It doesn’t matter this is a banged up Canes team.

Sunday afternoon, however, was a far different story. The Devils piled up a massive eight goals coming from a lot of different players. This, after the Devils scored just two in the first two games combined. This just might be a series after all.

The Good

The forward group showed up finally. Only 3 of them didn’t get a point. This team should all be feeling good about that and ready to go next game. This is especially true for Timo Meier and Nico Hischier, who have both been playing really well but had yet to score in the playoffs. This might get them going offensively since goals like to come in bunches for most players. This team has been erratic at best in the playoffs, but if they get consistent they are a threat to win the Eastern Conference.

The BMW Line came to play again and have shown up when it matters most. Miles Wood put a super nice move out for all to see on his goal, a nice reprieve from what he usually does on a breakaway. McLeod’s been a beast and continued his point streak with a shorthanded goal that really took the life out of the Hurricanes at the time.

Jack Hughes was on fire on Sunday with a pair of goals and assists. He really was feeling the puck and has turned his frustration with the refs into determination. I loved watching him go after Aho because eventually he was going to have to take it into his own hands or he would be getting hurt from these dirty plays. It also continues to show that he wont disappear in big games, big moments or tough situations.

Luke Hughes also had a pretty good night aside from the obvious bad pass that led to the breakaway and penalty shot goal. His skating is above NHL level and with two points in his first game, that is something positive to build on.

The Bad

Damon Severson played to the high end of both sides of what he does. He scored a good goal walking it in and he had a ton of bad giveaways, got caught flat footed despite being a good skater multiple times and had some pretty bad passes and fumbles. He can be frustrating to watch and needs to do way less as a third-pairing guy.

Tomas Tatar was one of three forwards without a point, took a penalty and was -2. The guy has fallen off a cliff since the playoffs began. The only reason he was not taking as much flak is because of other players not scoring who are higher on the depth chart. It is probably time for him to get it going or they can put someone else in his spot who showed some better effort.

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It was another bad night for the zebras. Shocking, we know. A stick lift with 0 touch on the gloves by Dougie Hamilton was not only called a penalty, but the refs awarded a penalty shot. Yet, there were quite a few cross checks on Jack Hughes that went uncalled. Still, the most frustrating thing about the NHL by far is the inconsistency and inability to call the rulebook.