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National Hockey League
Carolina 3, New Jersey 1
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 4, 2019
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
Referees: Gord Dwyer, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen: Steve Miller, Tony Sericolo
Attendance: 17645

Justin Faulk scored the tie-breaking goal in the second period, and the Carolina Hurricanes went on to wrap up a playoff spot for the first time in a decade by defeating the visiting New Jersey Devils 3-1 in the regular-season home finale Thursday night in Raleigh, N.C.

Nino Niederreiter's goal with 3:25 remaining gave the Hurricanes a two-goal cushion. Fans chanted, "We want playoffs," and that's what they'll get.

The Hurricanes have secured a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2009. That ends the longest active drought without a playoff appearance for any NHL team.

Combined with the victory, the Montreal Canadiens' loss at Washington clinched at least a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference for the Hurricanes. Carolina still could grab the third-place spot in the Metropolitan Division, as it trails the Pittsburgh Penguins by two points for that position and holds the tiebreaker.

Warren Foegele tallied the first goal for the Hurricanes, who close the regular season Saturday at Philadelphia.

Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek stopped 36 shots, including 16 in the third period.

Andy Greene scored for the Devils. New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider made 22 saves.

Faulk played in his 558th career game, all with the Hurricanes. That moved him alone into 10th place on the franchise's all-time list. Now, he'll get to participate in a postseason game for the first time.

Greene opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game. His blast went under teammate Drew Stafford.

The Hurricanes pulled even when Foegele scored on a breakaway, taking a pass from Dougie Hamilton and delivering the puck into the net.

With that goal, the Hurricanes reached 237 goals on the season, their most since posting 250 in the 2007-08 campaign.

When Faulk unleashed a shot for the go-ahead goal just 1:36 into the second period, it gave the Hurricanes a power-play goal for the fourth straight game. That matches a season high for consecutive games with a goal on the man advantage.

It was Faulk's 10th goal of the season and his second in the past four games.

New Jersey and Carolina split four meetings this season.

The Devils go into Saturday's finale at Florida with only one victory across their past four games (1-2-1).

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
New Jersey   Carolina
Andy Greene 1 Points Justin Faulk 1
Andy Greene 1 Goals Justin Faulk 1
Michael McLeod 1 Assists Sebastian Aho 1
N/A Power Play Goals Justin Faulk 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Cory Schneider .880 Save Percentage Petr Mrazek .973
Cory Schneider 22 Saves Petr Mrazek 36
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
New Jersey 37 1 0-3 1-2 4 28
Carolina 25 3 1-2 3-3 6 28
Upcoming Games
  • Carolina will play their next game on the road against Philadelphia. The Hurricanes have a W/L % of .545 after a win and .568 after a loss.
  • New Jersey will play their next game on the road against Florida. The Devils have a W/L % of .355 after a win and .380 after a loss.