Game 13: New Jersey Devils vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Start Time: 7:00 PM
Radio: WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM
Your New Jersey Devils (8-1-3) will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes (6-4-1) Tuesday evening for the first of three times this season, and is the only time Carolina will visit The Rock this season. The Devils are coming off of a massively successful weekend, sweeping a home-and-home series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning both games 3-1. The Hurricanes are coming off of a 6-4 victory against the New York Islanders Monday evening and are looking to put some more distance between them and the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning for the Southeast Division lead.
New Jersey Devils
What else is there to say? The Devils are playing some of the best hockey in the NHL right now. They’ve won 5 in a row, their goaltending has been superb between Brodeur and Hedberg, and the offense has been clicking with Clarkson, Henrique, and Kovalchuk all contributing during the winning streak. A lot of people wrote the Devils off after they dropped four in a row (three in overtime or a shootout), but the Devils are proving them wrong after winning their next five in dominating fashion, outscoring their opponents 16-5. Jersey’s team currently holds a 2-point lead on Boston for first place in the Eastern Conference, a 3-point lead on the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Atlantic Division, and trails only Chicago for first place in the league by 3 points. While 12 games in might seem a little early to start talking about standings, we’re already a quarter of the way through this shortened season, and in a season where every point matters, the Devils are off to an extremely good start.
The Hurricanes always seem to be one of those teams that you don’t know what to expect from. They’re currently averaging 3.09 goals per game, but are averaging the same number in goals against. The Hurricanes seem to live and die by their goaltenders Cam Ward (3-3-1, 3.28 GAA, 0.905 Sv%) and Dan Ellis (2-1-0, 1.99 GAA, 0.939 Sv%). The offense has functioned well so far, with Eric Staal leading the team in points (12) and goals (7) but with some inconsistent goaltending, those offensive numbers have gone unappreciated on some nights. Despite all of this, the Hurricanes are right in the thick-of-it against the Tampa Bay Lightning due to the Lightning’s recent 4-game losing streak. The Hurricanes are currently 1 point ahead of the Lightning for the lead in their Division, giving them the current #3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
What to Watch For
Sure, the Hurricanes aren’t very far over .500, but that doesn’t make them a bad team. They do have a potent offense and are just as dangerous as any other team in the league with their current position. Despite a furious start by the Lightning, they seem to have tapered off, and if the Southeast Division continues this trend, they may be lucky to get two teams into the playoffs. At this point, every point matters for the Hurricanes, which makes them extremely dangerous. The Devils, however, have scoffed lately at teams known with high-powered offenses. They held the Lightning to 2 goals, and the Penguins to 1 goal a game in their match-ups this past weekend, despite these teams boasting some of the best offenses in the league. And the way the Devils offense has looked lately, a high-scoring game is not out of the question. Look for Clarkson to continue his hot hands near the net, and for Henrique and Kovalchuk to rack up some points as well. Expect Martin Brodeur to be back in net tomorrow, and for Dan Ellis to get the start for the Hurricanes, with Cam Ward starting against the Islanders last night.
Posted on February 12, 2013, in Devils Army, Devils Army Generals, Game Preview, New Jersey Devils, New Jersey Devils Fans, NHL, Prudential Center, The Rock and tagged Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes, Dan Ellis, Devils Army Generals, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center, The Rock. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.