from Mark Lazerus of The Athletic,
The second-round matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils promised to be a track meet, with two of the league’s fastest teams squaring off.
But only one got out of the starting block.
A rested Carolina squad ran a sluggish, seemingly unprepared Devils team out of PNC Arena early, racing to a 3-0 lead, and was never threatened in a 5-1 Game 1 victory Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C....
Carolina had pretty much a perfect period to start this series, outshooting the Devils 11-1, with that one shot a harmless Bastian shot from the neutral zone. The Devils didn’t even have a shot attempt in the first seven minutes. Carolina led 2-0 after one, but it could have been even more, as Martin Necas came up empty on two Grade A chances.
It looked awfully similar to the Devils’ first period in Game 1 against the Rangers, when they fell behind early and looked generally lost. The optimist can point to that and say, hey, it worked out in the long run, as the Devils righted the ship and won games 3 through 5, along with Game 7. The pessimist will point out that Lindy Ruff’s squad looked utterly unprepared for an opponent for the second straight Game 1.
read on ($)
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