Hurricanes looking to hand Devils first home loss
The New Jersey Devils have shown the ability to respond from some not-so-solid performances and that mindset could go a long way in helping the team navigate through the season.
The Carolina Hurricanes haven't been quite so in tune with dodging rough patches during the first few weeks of the season.
But Tuesday night at New Jersey, the Hurricanes aim to get on track because they've gone four games without winning in regulation.
“I think we could have a better sense of urgency,” said Carolina coach Bill Peters, who pointed out that he's pondering potential lineup changes. “I think it's more about us.”
The Devils picked up their first road victory Sunday night by winning 4-1 at Carolina. Next, they try to avoid their first home loss.
“Now we go back (home) with a better feeling,” left winger Mike Cammalleri said.
New Jersey is 4-0-1 at home, a mark that has allowed them to avoid a miserable start to the season.
The Hurricanes have been decent on the road, picking up points in five of eight games on the way to a 2-3-3 road record.
In the first meeting with the Hurricanes this season, the Devils benefited from Cammalleri's hat trick after he hadn't scored in the first 10 games of the season.
“He had an urgency level to his game,” New Jersey coach John Hynes said. “(On his) first goal, there was a second and a third chance he had to keep the puck in and really worked to be able to get himself in that scoring situation. It was nice to see him moving his feet. That's when he's at his best.”
The Devils are looking for the sudden spark from Cammalleri to create momentum. They've seen him go on tears before.
“That was good to see,” New Jersey goalie Keith Kinkaid said. “He definitely deserves it.”
The Hurricanes are in a wait-and-see situation regarding defenseman Justin Faulk, who's considered one of the team's anchors. He left in the third period of the last game with an undisclosed injury. In vague terms, Peters described the ailment to be an upper-body or middle-body injury.
Regardless, the Hurricanes are in search of consistency and something to jolt the offense into shape.
“Our transition game could be better,” Peters said.
Carolina went 0-for-4 on power plays Sunday and the Hurricanes will look for better production in that area in the rematch.
“It comes down to execution,” Peters said of the power play. “It comes down to confidence and it comes down to all five guys doing their part. If you start getting frustrated and you start taking it easy, you're out. If you think it's going to be easy, it's not. Penalty killers are hard workers on every level, especially in the National Hockey League.”
Perhaps sensing the workload piling up after games on the weekend on back-to-back nights, Peters called off Monday's scheduled on-ice workout. The Hurricanes are amid a stretch of five games in eight nights.
For New Jersey, Tuesday night's game will be one of only two home outings during a 10-game span of the schedule.