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New Jersey Devils vs Carolina Hurricanes

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

New Jersey Devils (Seed 3)

In the first round against the Rangers, Brodeur made a good New York team look bad, posting a 1.00 GAA and a .965 SAV%. Can he do the same against the Canes?

Patrik Elias, at center, is the major offensive force on this team. Against the Rangers he earned 10 points with 5 goals and 5 assists. Scott Gomez, another center-man, was good for two goals and four assists. Wingers Jamie Langenbrunner and Brian Gionta notched a total of four goals and 10 assists.

Along with a potent offense, which scored a total of 17 goals in their first round series, New Jersey has a solid defense. The Devils play both ends of the ice extremely well.

Watch Brodeur in this series; he’s an aggressive goalie and a risk taker. If the Canes can keep it close, Brodeur will either win or lose the game for the Devils. If the New Jersey offense can penetrate Ward the way they did Rangers net-man Lundqvist, then the Devils will take the series.

Carolina Hurricanes (Seed 2)

The Hurricanes first round series against Montreal went to six games, taking the final four to advance to round two.

Rookie goalie Martin Gerber started the first game and got shelled, 6-1. He gave up three goals in the first period of game two and was pulled. Net-minder Cam Ward, another rookie, came in and gave up an average of 1.7 goals per game for the rest of the series.

Carolina’s young center Eric Staal led the team in points (8) and assists (6). Veteran center Rod Brind’Amour was tops on the team in goals (4) and winger Cory Stillman provided two goals and three assists. The Canes third center, Matt Cullen, was solid with three goals and one assist.

For the Hurricanes, the difference between the first two games and the final four was not in the offense but in the goaltending. Can this team erupt and score six goals in one game? You bet they can. But more times than not against a quality tender like the Devil’s Martin Brodeur they’ll be scoring one to three per game. With a hot goaltender like Ward, they have a chance to beat anybody, including New Jersey.

Second Round Playoff Series Prediction:

Carolina over New Jersey in 7 games

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