Hurricanes defeat Devils 6-3 in regular-season finale

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Jesperi Kotkaniemi had a goal and two assists and the Carolina Hurricanes closed out a record-setting season with a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.

The Hurricanes, who clinched the Metropolitan Division title two nights earlier, added to their franchise records for wins (54) and points (116) in a season.

Ethan Bear, Martin Necas, Teuvo Teravainen, Steven Lorentz and Jordan Martinook also scored for the Hurricanes, who will carry a six-game winning streak into the playoffs.

Carolina goalie Antti Raanta made 27 saves and improved to 7-0-1 all-time against New Jersey.

Fabian Zetterlund, Jesper Bratt and Jimmy Vesey scored for the Devils, who are 0-3-2 in their last five games with one game remaining. Pavel Zacha had two assists and Andrew Hammond stopped 30 shots.

Martinook’s forechecking disrupted New Jersey’s transition out of its defensive zone and Bear was rewarded with the goal in just his seventh game in a month’s span to open the scoring.

Necas and Kotkaniemi added goals in the game’s first 13 minutes. Combined with assists on the game’s first two goals, Kotkaniemi secured his first three-point outing in his 237th career game and became the only Carolina player this season with a three-point period.

Kotkaniemi was back on the ice after missing the last five games, playing just twice since late March because of injuries.

Zetterlund’s second goal of his career came 62 seconds after New Jersey fell into the 3-0 hole.

Bratt’s third-period goal gave him a share of the team lead with 26.

The Hurricanes scored four or more goals in eight of their last 10 games.

RESTING UP

Captain Jordan Staal, second-leading scorer Andrei Svechnikov and defenseman Jaccob Slavin sat out for the Hurricanes, who sought to limit wear and tear as much as possible.

Defenseman Brady Skjei and right winger Jesper Fast played in all 82 games this season for the Hurricanes. Slavin (79 games), Staal (78) and Svechnikov (78) are staples in Carolina’s lineup.

Devils center Dawson Mercer can become his team’s only player to appear in all 82 games if he plays Friday night. New Jersey’s Nico Hischier, who is second on the team with 59 points, was scratched Thursday night.

HOME COOKING

The Hurricanes finished with a 29-8-4 record in home games, with the 62 points just two shy of the team’s PNC Arena record, established during the Stanley Cup-winning 2005-06 season.

Carolina has secured home-ice advantage for at least two playoff series, if it advances that far.

UP NEXT

Devils: Host Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

Hurricanes: Home against a team to be determined to open playoffs next week.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Bob Sutton, The Associated Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting