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Dawson Mercer’s 3-point night leads Devils past Hurricanes

Jan 10, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;  New Jersey Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek (41) pokes the puck away from Carolina Hurricanes center Seth Jarvis (24) during the first period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Dawson Mercer finished with two goals and an assist as the New Jersey Devils rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 on Tuesday night at Raleigh, N.C.

Mercer’s 10th goal of the season came at 8:53 of the third period, giving the Devils their first lead of the game.

Jesper Boqvist and Nico Hischier each added a goal and an assist and Jonas Siegenthaler also scored for New Jersey, which produced four goals on its first 18 shots. Michael McLeod provided two assists. It was Mercer’s first two-goal game in his 123-game career.

The Devils overcame giving up two shorthanded goals in sending the Hurricanes to their fourth consecutive loss. New Jersey goalie Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves.

Sebastian Aho had a goal and an assist, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Max Pacioretty also scored for Carolina. Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 18 shots.

The game marked the completion of the first half of the schedule for the Metropolitan Division rivals.

Despite falling behind 3-1 late in the second period, the Devils pulled even by the end of the period. They scored twice in an 18-second span in the last minute.

Mercer shrugged off resistance in front of the net and pushed the puck past Kochetkov. Boqvist tacked on another goal, and New Jersey had made the most of its 15 shots through two periods.

The scoring began when Martin Necas did the hard work by winning the faceoff and retrieving the puck. He slid a pass to Kotkaniemi, who was in front and delivered his seventh goal of the season and his first NHL shorthanded goal.

Siegenthaler found an opening when Kochetkov didn’t protect a sliver of space between the post and his pad as the Devils pulled even with 2:54 left in the opening period. The puck snuck through, confirmed after a long video review.

Pacioretty scored when he recovered the puck behind the net and drilled it off Devils center Yegor Sharangovich, with the puck ending up in the net. That gave Pacioretty three goals in three games since joining the lineup after recovering from an offseason torn Achilles.

Then Aho’s short-handed goal on a swift transition breakout for the Hurricanes produced a 3-1 lead.

–Field Level Media