The Carolina Hurricanes got back on track in Game 4 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night, winning 3-1 to take a 3-1 series lead.
The Hurricanes played a much more disciplined game in Game 4, bouncing back from their poor performance in Game 3. They got off to a fast start, with Nino Niederreiter scoring just 1:55 into the game. Vincent Trocheck added another goal midway through the second period, and Sebastian Aho scored an empty-net goal with just over a minute remaining in the game.
The Devils had a chance to tie the game in the third period when they were awarded a penalty shot, but Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen made a key save to preserve the lead.
Andersen rebounded from his poor performance in Game 3, stopping 27 of 28 shots he faced in Game 4. He has been a key player for the Hurricanes throughout the playoffs, posting a 7-2 record with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.
The Hurricanes will have a chance to close out the series on Saturday night in Game 5, which will be played in Raleigh. They will look to continue their strong play at home, where they have won five straight games.
Despite the loss, the Devils can take some positives from their performance in Game 4. They played a much better defensive game and were able to limit the Hurricanes’ high-powered offense to just three goals. They will need to continue that defensive effort if they want to extend the series and force a Game 6.
The Hurricanes will be looking to finish off the series and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year. They will have to stay focused and disciplined in order to do so, as the Devils will be fighting for their playoff lives in Game 5.