The New Jersey Devils went into Saturday night’s contest with the Carolina Hurricanes without forwards Patrik Elias, Adam Henrique, Ryane Clowe and Jacob Josefson. They needed the win, being three points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final playoff spot with only five games left. The team knew that they could not lose this game if they wanted a chance to play in the postseason.
Cory Schneider was awesome for the second night in a row. One night after stoning the Washington Capitals on multiple occasions and holding them to one goal, he did the same thing to the Hurricanes on Saturday night. He stopped 26 of 27 shots. He got a little help from the post on two occasions. The only goal he let by was a shot from Jeff Skinner that had to be reviewed.
The Devils finally got a little bit of luck when a Marek Zidlicky shot was redirected by Travis Zajac. The shot hit the post and landed in the crease. It spun backwards and slid into the net giving the Devils a 2-1 lead, one in which they would never give up.
The team was very shorthanded up front. They played Tim Sestito and Mike Sislo in the lineup together for the first time all season. They still found a way to get three goals (one with an empty net). Dainius Zubrus scored two goals against the Hurricanes, after scoring only one in the last 21 games.
The entire team played with a ton of heart again. They are showing that they really want to keep their season alive. When everything was going wrong, they could have just given up. They didn’t, and now they are one point out of a playoff spot. It will be a great story if the team can finish what they started. They can thank Schneider for giving them the opportunity to make it here.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also add’s to the site’s NBA, MLB and NFL content. You can follow him on Twitter for more sports talk.