Hurricanes face Devils, look to sweep 4-game homestand
The Carolina Hurricanes have found a groove again. Another big goal-scoring effort demonstrated that.
The New Jersey Devils are pushing for better results, going through a grind early in the season.
The teams meet for the first time this season Saturday night in Raleigh, N.C.
“We have to play our game, and that eliminates a lot of what other teams are going to do,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
The Hurricanes are coming off a 7-3 home victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night, when they racked up a season-high goal total.
Carolina looks to complete a perfect four-game homestand when New Jersey arrives.
The Devils are fresh off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night.
“It’s a huge game (Saturday),” New Jersey captain Andy Greene said, “so let’s make sure we (have the focus). Let’s keep grinding away here.”
That’s what it has been for Devils coach John Hynes’ team — a grind. The results haven’t been satisfying even with some solid performances.
“The focus level of getting better and having your game better has to lead to results,” Hynes said. “When you come out of tough situations or ruts … you need to get the end results. You can’t make up confidence. You know that. It’s kicking our foot through the door to win the game. That’s when you have confidence in your play. … That’s where your confidence really comes from.”
With games on the schedule in quick order, it’s time to back up the efforts, he said.
“We have a lot of games, we have back-to-backs,” Hynes said. “The schedule is demanding. That serves the opportunity to get fresh legs in there and use different guys. … Your practice time is a lot more limited, and you’re just touching on things to get ready for the next game.”
Carolina has been riding Andrei Svechnikov’s scoring burst. The right winger has five goals across the past three games.
During one stretch of the homestand, he scored the team’s four consecutive goals. That hadn’t been done by a Carolina player in almost nine years.
The Hurricanes have won games in a variety of ways recently. The high-scoring effort was something to cherish.
“You have to guard against letting up,” Brind’Amour said.
Plus, goalie Petr Mrazek has been clutch when needed. He has won 12 consecutive regular-season starts in his home arena.
“He has been holding us in and allowing us to stick with what we’re trying to do,” Brind’Amour said.
Carolina defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, who made his season debut Oct. 18 after recovering from a shoulder injury, is fine to go on back-to-back nights, Brind’Amour said.
Meanwhile, right winger Wayne Simmonds, a newcomer with New Jersey, notched his first goal with the Devils on Friday night. Hynes said he likes Simmonds’ impact on games.
“He’s trending that way,” Hynes said. “I still think there’s more. I think he’s going to continue to get better and better.”
The game at Carolina is the start of a five-game road swing for New Jersey, with the other four games against Western Conference opponents.
–Field Level Media