Noesen late goal gives Devils 4-3 win over Hurricanes
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Getting to the playoffs many times involves getting big plays from guys on the third and fourth lines in addition to having your stars step up.
The Devils got both in moving a little closer to their first playoff berth since the 2011-12 season.
Stefan Noesen scored on a rebound with 1:33 to play and the Devils got two goals in the final nine minutes to post a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
“I was jumping on the bench,” said Devils catalyst Taylor Hall, who had three assists. “Sometimes you need to make a play, need to have a performance and guy come through and really get that one for us. You don’t want to get to overtime and split the odds.”
Noesen, whose 12 goals and 25 points are career highs, was in the right spot at the right time in helping the Devils win their third straight and sixth of eight.
Andy Greene’s shot from the left boards was stopped by Scott Darling, but the rebound came to Noesen who fired it into the net.
“Puck goes out to Greeny and comes right on my stick and those are nice, especially with a minute and a half left,” Noesen said. “That’s a big win, as of now it’s the biggest win of the year. Every win now from this point forward will be the biggest.”
The Devils (88 points) are three points ahead of idle Florida in the race for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers have two games in hand.
“It wasn’t our greatest game, execution wise, defensive wise, but this time of the year you have to try and find a way to do whatever it takes,” said Kyle Palmieri, who had two goals and an assist.
Pavel Zacha also scored and Keith Kinkaid, who has supplanted Cory Schneider as the No. 1 goaltender, made 31 saves.
Phil Di Giuseppe, Warren Foegele and Noah Hanifin also scored as the Hurricanes had a three-game winning streak snapped despite taking a 3-2 lead early in the third period. Scott Darling was outstanding making 41 saves, but Carolina’s slim playoff hopes faded as it fell nine points behind New Jersey.
“No matter what, you want to win,” Di Giuseppe said. “That’s our focus. We are just trying to win for each other. Obviously disappointing tonight, but there are a few more games.”
Palmieri tied the game twice with power-play goals, with both being setup by great passes by Hall.
The second tied the game 3-all with 8:55 left in regulation as a penalty against Valentin Zykov about to expire. Hall sent a pass between the circles and Palmieri deflected it with an open blade into the top of the net.
Hanifin had given the Hurricanes at 3-2 lead 3:39 into the period with a shot from the left circle into a relatively open net after Jeff Skinner won the puck behind the net.
Kinkaid was the difference in the second period when he stopped breakaways by Skinner and Brock McGinn with the Hurricanes leading 2-1.
“Keith stood on his head and gave us a chance tonight and special teams came through when it mattered,” Palmieri said.
The save on Skinner in the opening minute of the period was spectacular. The 23-goal scorer made a move to his forehand to get Kinkaid out of position but the goalie reached back at the last second and just the butt of his stick kept the puck out of the net.
Hall then made a great cross-ice pass to find Palmieri low in the right circle for a quick power-play shot that beat Darling to tie the game 2-all with 5:53 left in the period.
New Jersey dominated the opening 10 minutes and took the early lead when Zacha put the rebound of a Palmieri shot into an open net at 5:47.
Darling kept the Hurricanes in the game, stopping a short-handed breakaway by Blake Coleman at 12:01.
Di Giuseppe tied the game a couple of minutes late with a shot from the left circle after Skinner won a battle along the boards. Elias Lindholm found Di Giuseppe.
Foegele, who scored in his NHL debut on Monday, got his second in two games with a wraparound goal at with 3:07 left in the period.
NOTES: Hurricanes hope to get D Justin Falk back before the season ends. He has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury. ... Devils F Miles Wood returned to the lineup after missing three games with a similar injury. ... Hall now has 52 assists, one shy of his career high with Edmonton in 2013-14. ... Palmieri has three goals in the last two games. ... Di Giuseppe has three goals in four games after scoring two in his first 40. ...Hurricanes F Sebastian Aho snapped a nine-game point-scoring streak (4 goals, 8 assists).
Hurricanes: At Washington on Friday night
Devils: Host Pittsburgh on Thursday night in third straight home game.
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