The wind from Carolina is picking up and taking with the chances for the New Jersey Devils to advance in this years Stanley Cup playoffs.
Rod Brind’Amour’s goal in the second period proved to be the winner, as Carolina once again found the way to win, this time a bouncing puck that banged in off a number of players the last one being Brind’Amour, who was credited for the goal which sent the Canes on to a 3 and 0 stranglehold in their series with the Devils.
Carolina’s 3-2 victory once again was the product of hard work and fast play; the two teams traded rushes throughout the game, a showcase that seemed to fly down the ice at record speeds. The Hurricane benefited from two goals on five shots in the first period, an unusual statistic for Martin Brodeur who seems to have found the Hurricanes a tad troubling in these first three games.
Brodeur though is not the problem for the Devils; it’s more an inability to control the Canes at the key times in the game. The Devils are making some uncharacteristic mental errors during this series, something not expected from a Lou Lamorieillo led team. They are getting knocked off of their system by the Hurricanes, who seem capable of taking them off their game and making them respond to the Hurricane attack rather than take charge of things on their own.
Cam Ward once again played amazing hockey, as the Hurricane rookie continued along his path of domination in the Hurricane nets. He has now won his first seven starts during these playoffs, which ties him for a record with Tiny Thompson who also set the record back in 1929-30.
Carolina can put things away with a victory and a sweep on Saturday afternoon, something probably considered highly unlikely when this series got underway. Many had thought that this would be a long drawn out series; no one ever figured that the Canes would be on the verge of sending the Devils packing with nary a win.
If they keep playing the way they have and keep getting the bounces and breaks along the way, that wind from the South will be blowing hard into the Divisional finals. The flags are up on the Jersey shore, the Devils need to knuckle down and make sure they’re ready for the next storm coming ashore on Saturday, if not they’ll have the entire summer to work on the damage and make their repairs.