Devils hold off Canes
The only role the Devils are likely going to have for the playoffs this season is being a spoiler, something the Carolina Hurricanes discovered.
Marcus Johansson scored twice, a battered Keith Kinkaid made 32 saves and the Devils prevented the Hurricanes from moving into a playoff spot with a 3-2 victory Sunday in Newark.
“In the end, it’s the win that counts,” said center Nico Hischier, who assisted on all three goals. “Everyone who is in the lineup has energy and wants to play well and wants to battle hard. Today everybody was ready to play and just play the game plan and in the end we earned the win.”
Pavel Zacha also scored as the Devils snapped the Hurricanes’ three-game winning streak and handed them their fifth loss (13-5-1) in 19 games.
Kinkaid certainly was the difference, stopping 23 of 25 shots over the final 40 minutes.
“It’s never going to be easy but definitely a huge game for me,” said Kinkaid, who had lost six of his last seven decisions. “I felt really sharp and guys did a good job battling even when there were no second chances. If there was a second chance, I just had to battle to give us the extra save. We gave a good effort, everyone was hustling back and not giving them easy outlets.”
Dougie Hamilton and Teuvo Teravainen scored for Carolina, and Petr Mrazek made 18 saves. The Hurricanes have missed the playoffs the last nine seasons.
The Hurricanes would have moved into the second wild-card spot ahead of idle Pittsburgh with a win.
“Right now there is a sour taste because this game; we should have won that game,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We needed it and they don’t, so that frustrates me.”
The Devils are 13 points out of a playoff spot with 27 games to go.