Martin Necas helps Hurricanes take 3-1 series lead vs. Devils
Field Level Media
May 9, 2023
Martin Necas scored twice Tuesday night and scored the goal that started a five-goal, second-period flurry for the Carolina Hurricanes, who took a commanding lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals by beating the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in Newark, N.J.
The Hurricanes lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 and will get their first chance to advance to the next round on Thursday night, when they will host Game 5. Carolina is trying to reach the conference finals for the first time since 2019.
Necas tied the game with 2:20 left in the first before he scored the game-winning goal 7:26 into the middle period. Brett Pesce, Jesper Fast, Brent Burns and Jordan Martinook scored later in the second for the Hurricanes, with the goals by Necas, Pesce, Fast and Burns coming within a span of just 5:20.
Goalie Frederik Andersen made 21 saves for the Hurricanes.
Jack Hughes scored 1:55 into the first for the Devils, who haven't overcome a 3-1 deficit since outlasting the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2000 Eastern Conference finals.
Goalie Vitek Vanecek gave up five goals on just 17 shots before being pulled for Akira Schmid, who stopped 11 of 12 shots the rest of the way.
Pesce's pass deep in the Hurricanes zone was picked off by Nico Hischier to set up Hughes' goal, a redirection of a shot by Timo Meier. Carolina tied the game following a New Jersey turnover when Jaccob Slavin stole the puck from Michael McLeod in the neutral zone to begin a sequence that ended with Necas getting a piece of a bouncing puck and beating Vanecek from point-blank range.
Necas and Pesce exchanged the puck before Necas put the Hurricanes ahead by firing a shot over Vanecek's stick shoulder. Pesce doubled the lead 2:25 later, when he rang a shot off the far post.
Fast picked up the rebound of a shot by Jalen Chatfield and tucked a shot around Vanecek at the 11:07 mark. Burns chased Vanecek 99 seconds later with a sizzling slapshot from the top of the right faceoff circle.
Martinook closed the scoring with 23.4 seconds left in the second when he took a pass from Burns and beat Schmid on the breakaway.
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