for this game

Devils storm past Hurricanes in quarterfinal opener

Apr 16, 2009 - 3:02 AM
NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- Brent Sutter and the New Jersey Devils have been saying for the past week that their late-season swoon wasn't going to be another prelude to an early exit from the playoffs.

If the first game of the postseason was an indication, the Devils will hang around for a while this spring.

Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner each had a goal and an assist and the Devils dominated from start to finish with a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in the opening game of their best-of-seven first-round playoffs series Wednesday night.

"It's step one," Parise said. "It's going to be a long series. You've got the start somewhere and the effort was there from everybody. It was a good way for us to start."

Last year, the Devils went 4-5-1 down the stretch and we eliminated by the Rangers in five games in the opening round, losing all three games at home.

"Tonight was a good example of how we feel we are able to play," Martin Brodeur said after coming within roughly 11 minutes of tying Patrick Roy's record for career playoff shutouts.

"They'll adjust and try to do something different in Game 2 (Friday) but I liked the way we came out, the energy and the crowd was great," the NHL's leader in career regular-season wins added. "Finally, we performed well in front of them. In the playoffs last year, they didn't have much to cheer about."

Defenseman Mike Mottau scored a rare goal late in the first period, Parise and Patrik Elias tallied in the second period and Langenbrunner added one in the third for New Jersey, which won four of its final five games after a season-high six-game losing streak.

"Toward the end of the season we were getting back to the way we needed to play," Parise said. "All around, it was a good team game by us. Right away we did a good job of using the crowd, the excitement in the building and sustaining that the whole game. We did a good job of pressuring tonight."

Brodeur, who set the regular-season record for NHL career wins last month, was closing in on his 23rd career playoff shutout when Ray Whitney scored on a rebound. He finished with 18 saves in winning for the 96th time in the postseason.

The playoff appearance was the first for Carolina since they won the Stanley Cup in 2006, and the Hurricanes played as if they will not be around long. Cam Ward kept them in the game, making 34 saves.

"I guess you scratch your head a little bit, knowing it's a playoff game," defenseman Tim Gleason said after the Hurricanes played a bad game after ending the season as one of the league's hottest teams. "It's one of those things, they came ready to play and we fell behind early. Friday night we have to come in ready to play at the drop of the puck."

The Devils outshot the Hurricanes 15-7 in the first period but they didn't score until Ward made a mistake. The goaltender, who posted a 19-7-2 mark in his final 28 starts, had the puck behind his net late in the period and elected to try to clear it himself off the sideboards.

Mottau, who had one goal in 80 games this season, intercepted the pass, and beat Ward with a shot from the right point with 3:57 left in the period. The defenseman was also a little lucky in getting his second career playoff in six games. Carolina forward Chad LaRose had a chance to nudge the puck away from him before he shot but he missed the opportunity.

"I'm sure he was pretty surprised that a little wrister could get through there," Mottau said of Ward. "But when you can't see it, it's pretty difficult to stop."

Parise made a great individual effort in the opening minute of the second period to push the lead to 2-0. He fought through a check along by boards by Eric Staal, took a little pass from Travis Zajac and beat Ward to the far side with a shot from a bad angle.

Elias got his goal on a nice play by Brian Gionta. The little forward took the puck away from Rod Brind'Amour in the corner after Elias was stopped on a wraparound attempt, and then found Elias for a shot from the left circle.

The crowd of 17,625 started chanting "Cam Ward! Cam Ward!" repeatedly and then switched to "Marty is better!" a couple of minutes later.

Whitney got Carolina on the board after Brodeur stopped LaRose in close. Parise whiffed on a wild swing to clear the puck and Whitney backhanded the puck into an open net at 9:22.

The Hurricanes didn't get long to enjoy the goal. Langenbrunner took a pass from Parise 29 seconds later and blistered a shot past Ward.

"We know we have to have a better effort and fortunately, there is better hockey in this room," Hurricanes center Matt Cullen said.






  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Hurricanes 1, Devils 4  FinalApr 16 8:45 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 0 1 1
    NEW JERSEY 1 2 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - MIKE MOTTAU 1 (UNASSISTED) 16:03
    2ND PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 1 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER) 0:59
    NJD - PATRIK ELIAS 1 (BRIAN GIONTA, DAINIUS ZUBRUS) 11:33
    3RD PRD: CAR - RAY WHITNEY 1 (CHAD LARO

    Apr 15 9:58 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL CAROLINA 1
    NEW JERSEY 4
    3RD PRD: NJD - JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER 1 (ZACH PARISE, PAUL MARTIN) 9:51

    Hurricanes 1, Devils 4  3rd - 10:09Apr 15 9:38 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - MIKE MOTTAU 1 (UNASSISTED) 16:03
    2ND PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 1 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER) 0:59
    NJD - PATRIK ELIAS 1 (BRIAN GIONTA, DAINIUS ZUBRUS) 11:33
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST

    Apr 15 9:04 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL CAROLINA 0
    NEW JERSEY 3
    2ND PRD: NJD - PATRIK ELIAS 1 (BRIAN GIONTA, DAINIUS ZUBRUS) 11:33

    Hurricanes 0, Devils 3  2nd - 8:27Apr 15 8:50 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL CAROLINA 0
    NEW JERSEY 2
    2ND PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 1 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER) 0:59

    Hurricanes 0, Devils 2  2nd - 19:01Apr 15 8:33 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - MIKE MOTTAU 1 (UNASSISTED) 16:03
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 7 7
    NJD 15 15
    GOALIES: CAR - CAM WARD
    NJD - MARTIN B

    Apr 15 8:13 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL CAROLINA 0
    NEW JERSEY 1
    1ST PRD: NJD - MIKE MOTTAU 1 (UNASSISTED) 16:03

    Hurricanes 0, Devils 1  1st - 3:57Apr 15 8:08 PM