RALEIGH (AP) - Jesperi Kotkaniemi netted twice in a span of about 2 1/2 minutes during Carolina's 4-goal second period. Frederik Andrésen stopped 28 shots, and the Hurricanes defeated the New Jersey Devils by 6-1 on Saturday night, taking a 2-0 series lead.
In that second period, Jordan Staal scored and Martin Necas added another goal. This turned a scoreless match between the two top regular-season teams in the playoffs to a Hurricanes victory with the support of a rowdy crowd at home.
Akira Schmid, the Devils' netminder, was chased by the Hurricanes for the second consecutive game. In Game 1, he lasted just a few minutes of the second period before he took his seat. His team was down 4-0.
Jordan Martinook, Stefan Noesen and others scored in the third quarter to round off another impressive night for Carolina.
Andersen, who has been with Carolina since the first round of the playoffs against the New York Islanders in Round 1, was impressive in his third consecutive postseason start.
On Sunday, the Devils will host Game 3 at home. They are down 0-2 for a second consecutive best-of-7 series. The Devils lost their first two home games by 5-1 to the New York Rangers in the first round before winning the clinching Game 7 on Monday.
The score was 11-2 in the first two games.
Kotkaniemi scored his first goal at 1:35 after he received a pass on the right and skated to the point. He then fired a shot under Schmid's arm, grazing Schmid's ribs.
Martinook, whose constant activity kept him in the mix throughout the night, skated in moments later to tie up two Devils in a possession race near the boards. This helped the puck to break free and skitter to Kotkaniemi, who scored at 3:58.
The Hurricanes continued to put pressure on. Staal's Hurricanes captain Jack Drury chipped the puck into the zone at the blue-line for him. He then extended his 6-foot-4 frame and snatched it up before completing the play with a forehand to backhand finish.
Martin Necas, who had been rushing to the post, finished from there, bringing the score up to 4-0. This only increased the already loud noise at the PNC Arena just before the halftime break.
The Hurricanes were dominant in the first period of Game 1 as they smothered the Devils, taking away any open ice and scoring more goals than New Jersey (two).
The Devils were aware that they could not repeat this effort, and they said so on Thursday. They noted they needed to put pucks in the net to force Carolina into defending its own end and using its speed instead of rolling its aggressive forecheck.
New Jersey dominated the play for more than 10 minutes. By the end of this game, Carolina had a rout. Martinook scored a breakaway goal against reliever Vitek vanecek and Noesen put away a 2-on-1 feed by Sebastian Aho.
Timo Meier, the Devils' new trade acquisition, returned to the game after missing Game 1 due to a strained back. The Devils' trade acquisition Timo Meier returned to the lineup after missing Game 1.
Meier played 16:49 minutes of ice-time in this game and ended up with five shots.
Cam Ward, former Hurricanes goaltender and Conn Smythe Trophy-winning team member who led the team to its 2006 Stanley Cup victory, was the one to sound the storm warning siren before the Hurricanes took to the ice.