RALEIGH — Sunday’s game against the New Jersey Devils followed a similar script to many Carolina Hurricanes showings in recent years. The Hurricanes doubled the Devils in shots on goal, but again struggled to score.
The Hurricanes scripted a different third act, but the ending remained the same.
Jeff Skinner scored his 200th NHL goal with 78 seconds left in regulation and goalie Cam Ward pulled for an extra attacker, but Devils winger Taylor Hall scored the overtime winner to give New Jersey the victory in front of a sellout crowd at PNC Arena. The Hurricanes managed just one point out of six in a pivotal three-game stretch against division teams battling them for playoff position.
“Yeah, we got a point. We had the goalie out, we got a point, right?” Peters said. “So it doesn’t look like you’re going to get anything, you get a point out of it. So that’ll probably be the only positive that we’ll take from that.”
With Ward pulled for the extra attacker, the Hurricanes hemmed the Devils in their own end. New Jersey nearly cleared the puck, but defenseman Brett Pesce managed to hold it in and get it cross ice to partner Jaccob Slavin.
Slavin fired the shot on Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid, and Skinner eventually knocked in the rebound to force overtime.
“It’s pretty cool. At the same time though, you score goals to win games,” Skinner said of his 200th goal while lamenting the loss.
Hall ended it in overtime with a rush up the left wing, firing a shot that Ward (18 saves) lost in his pads and Hall banged in with a second effort.
It was the other two Devils goals, however, that left the Hurricanes chasing the game.
The Devils broke the ice on the game’s first power play. With Pesce in the box for holding, New Jersey rookie Nico Hischier split Slavin and Trevor van Riemsdyk and ripped a shot into the top corner past Ward for a 1-0 Devils lead 10:56 into the game.
Carolina’s forecheck helped them even the score early in the second period.
Victor Rask stripped the puck from Devils forward Kyle Palmieri, and Carolina peppered Kinkaid (40 saves) with shots. Finally, Teuvo Teravainen’s wrist shot hit Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen and ricocheted in to tie the game 6:05 into the middle frame.
The Devils, however, jumped back ahead following Carolina’s first full power play of the game.
With New Jersey defenseman John Moore coming out of the box, Carolina forward Derek Ryan’s pass to Justin Williams was off the mark. Moore started a 3-on-1 rush and fed the puck to an open Pavel Zacha on the back door to give the lead back to New Jersey with less than five minutes remaining in the second period.
“We gifted them both their goals, right?” Peters said of the Devils’ two regulation goals.
Peters leaned on his top nine forwards — after recalling Lucas Wallmark and playing him in place of Lee Stempniak, he logged just 4:28, while linemates Joakim Nordstrom (6:03 at even strength) and Phil Di Giuseppe (6:54) were little used at even strength.
“Well, Wally didn’t play much. I thought he was good when he played,” Peters said. “He had a real good chance in one of his early shifts in the first. … But then we chased the game from about that point on and they didn’t play very much.”
The chase for the Hurricanes is on in the Eastern Conference standings. The Flyers and Devils each have 70 points and hold third place in the Metro and the first wild card spot, respectively. The Islanders and Hurricanes have 64 points in 60 games, while the Blue Jackets (5-2 losers at home to the Penguins) are one point behind them with a game in hand.
“They’re playoff games,” co-captain Jordan Staal said. “You can tell how much more intense they are, how much tighter they are. They’re good games, they’re really hard-working games, and we’ve worked hard.”
Notes: Carolina won 38 of 53 faceoffs. … Four Hurricanes forwards (Staal, Elias Lindholm, Skinner and Ryan) played at least 20 minutes, as did four defensemen (Slavin, Noah Hanifin, Justin Faulk and Pesce). … The Hurricanes will not practice Monday and Tuesday.