It has become a trend for the Carolina Hurricanes, and it’s something the team is looking to reverse.
Slow starts have been a problem, often leading to allow other teams to score first. The Hurricanes have surrendered the first goal in six straight games.
“It shouldn’t be tough,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “You’ve got to have everyone going, or it’s tough to win.”
The Hurricanes have returned from a four-game road trip for Friday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils in Raleigh, N.C.
For the season, the Hurricanes are 10-18-2 when the opponent scores first. That’s what happened in Tuesday night’s 4-1 loss at Dallas.
“We weren’t very good the first period,” Brind’Amour said. “We got better at the end.”
The Hurricanes went 2-2-0 on the road swing, with one of the victories coming in a shootout. The Dallas game marked the Hurricanes’ lowest goal total in the last seven games.
“I didn’t like a lot of the road trip,” Brind’Amour said. “We certainly had to earn our wins, the ones we got. We didn’t play well enough to win the games we lose. It’s pretty simple.”
The Devils will be playing their third game in four nights, losing Tuesday’s home game to the Florida Panthers and winning 4-1 in Thursday’s home matchup with the Detroit Red Wings. Wayne Simmonds scored twice for New Jersey against Detroit.
Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood has been on a roll for the Devils, recording back-to-back shutouts before allowing just the one goal to the Red Wings on Thursday.
“Forget about those now and keep thinking about those ahead of you,” Blackwood said.
The Devils are trying to stick with their blueprint to keep goalies fresh. That could mean it’s Louis Domingue’s turn in Raleigh.
“We have a plan that we talked about as an organization,” Devils interim coach Alain Nasreddine said.
The Devils will have to keep tabs on Carolina’s forwards.
Hurricanes right winger Sebastian Aho has 31 goals this season, a career high after 30 a season ago. He had the team’s lone goal at Dallas.
Carolina left winger Jordan Martinook isn’t expected back for this game after missing the past three games with an upper-body injury.
However, New Jersey could have center Nico Hischier (lower-body injury) back in the lineup. He hasn’t played since Feb. 1, but did some on-ice work this week. Hischier is tied for second on the team with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists).
“Not going to rule him out for (Friday),” Nasreddine said. “I’ll need to talk to the medical staff.”
New Jersey put defenseman Sami Vatanen on injured reserve Thursday, retroactive to Feb. 1.
This is the second of four meetings between the Devils and Hurricanes this season. The Devils won 5-3 on the road Nov. 2 in what was the beginning of Carolina’s season-long four-game losing streak.
This will be Carolina’s first home game in nearly two weeks. The Hurricanes are 18-9-1 in home games.
This is the Devils’ only road assignment in a five-game stretch.
–Field Level Media