Hurricanes jump on Devils early, roll to 5-1 win in Game 1

Carolina chased New Jersey goalie Akira Schmid with three goals in the first 22 minutes

Hurricanes forward Seth Jarvis celebrates his goal with Jaccob Slavin during Carolina's 5-1 win in Wednesday’s Game 1 of their second round series with the Devils in Raleigh. (Karl B. DeBlaker / AP Photo)

RALEIGH — Akira Schmid saved the Devils’ season by winning four of five starts in the first round win over the Rangers.

He lasted 21:55 in Game 1 against the Hurricanes.

New Jersey didn’t register a shot on goal from inside the Carolina blue line until the Hurricanes had already built a three-goal lead and chased the rookie goalie, winning 5-1 to open their second round series with a win in front of a sellout crowd Wednesday at PNC Arena.

“We started in a way that kind of set the tone for the rest of the game,” Hurricanes forward Seth Jarvis said.

The Hurricanes suffocated the Devils in the early going, with New Jersey’s only shot on goal in the first period coming on a neutral zone dump-in that bounced into goalie Frederik Andersen’s pads.

“A little tricky one,” Andersen, who made 17 saves, said with a smile.

Carolina, meanwhile, raced out to what ended up being an insurmountable lead.

The Hurricanes got the first goal of the series when captain Jordan Staal won a faceoff back to Brett Pesce, and the Carolina defenseman snapped a shot through traffic and past Devils goalie Akira Schmid (8 saves) for a 1-0 lead at 9:41 of the first.

“I saw a lane, just tried to get it through and sometimes you get lucky and it just goes in,” said Pesce.

Carolina extended the lead just over five minutes later. The Hurricanes exited their zone when Jarvis chipped the puck up the right boards. He then raced past defenseman Ryan Graves to create a 2-on-1 and called his own number, shooting over Schmid’s glove to make it 2-0 at 14:33 of the first.

“I finally kind of was able to cut in and knew he was gonna probably play the pass, so the shot was my only option,” Jarvis said.

It was Jarvis’ third goal of the playoffs, and he continued to show how his 200-foot game has not only evolved but created offense in the postseason.

“He’s gotten pushed into a bigger role maybe quicker than usual, but he’s thrived at everything that’s been thrown at him,” said Jordan Martinook, who had two assists in the win. “He’s been penalty-killing this year. He’s 21, but he’s well beyond his years. He’s a big part of our team, and that was a big play.”

Schmid’s night ended early in the second period when the Hurricanes won a battle in the corner and Martinook set up Jesperi Kotkaniemi on the back door for his first goal of the postseason and a 3-0 lead at 1:55 of the middle frame.

“It had nothing to do with our goalie,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said of the early deficit and his decision to pull Schmid. “I mean, I could’ve taken multiple players out.”

Both Ruff and Brind’Amour pointed to New Jersey’s Game 7 win over the rival Rangers as a reason for the Devils’ slow start.

“In my eyes,” Ruff said, “coming off a huge, emotional win, quick turnaround. You look at the energy they came out with — they backed us into a corner right away.”

The Devils got on the board a few minutes later when Nathan Bastian scored his first career playoff goal, flipping the puck over Andersen to cut the lead to 3-1 at 5:02 of the second period.

New Jersey got some life from the goal, but Carolina delivered the dagger at the midway point of the third period when Sebastian Aho set up Brady Skjei for a one-timer from the left circle that beat the glove of Vitek Vanecek (10 saves) for a 4-1 lead.

It was the second tally of the night for the NHL’s top goal-scoring defense, which was limited to one goal in the first round.

“That’s the backbone of our group and what makes us special,” Brind’Amour said, “and they were involved both offensively, defensively and had a lot of opportunities. We obviously need that.”

Jesper Fast added an empty-net goal with 3:16 left in regulation to cap off the win.

“We know that New Jersey’s going to play better,” Brind’Amour said. “I know that. … For us to win, we’re going to have to have everyone contributing like tonight.”

Notes: Jack Hughes entered the second round with 32 shots of goal — the most of any player remaining in the playoffs — but was limited to two in Game 1. … Aho has points in four straight games and six of seven this postseason. … Andersen improved to 2-0 in the postseason with a .962 save percentage and 0.95 goals-against average.