Is it time to panic already for the Devils? A little, maybe.

Of course, no one has ever lost a best-of-seven series from Game 1, and in that sense the New Jersey players are very lucky, because they can’t be eliminated until they have suffered three more losses like this at a field in suburban Raleigh.

But there’s the way, and on Wednesday night the Devils were outplayed from start to finish by their opponents, the Carolina Hurricanes, who ultimately beat them 5-1. This allows the former Whalers to take a 1-0 lead in this series.

The manner, we were saying… This dominance can’t be explained better than the first 20 minutes of play, where the Devils looked like a lower caliber club, which didn’t deserve to be there.

In fact, the Devils got just one shot in that first period, a weak shot from the neutral zone that pretty much anyone could have stopped, including Ben Scrivens. The rest of the time, it was the locals who brilliantly dictated the tempo.

We insist: it’s only one game. But these Devils looked ill-prepared, not at all ready, in fact, as if they were still trying to recover from their emotions, they who had just come out of a disputed series under the sign of intensity against the New York Rangers.

In all of this, the most worrying part for the Devils is perhaps the goalkeeper’s exit a little too quickly. Akira Schmid, the same one who came out of nowhere in the first round like a Steve Penney for Gen Z, proved to be short of miracles this time around. Schmid had to go sit on the backup stool after giving up 3 goals on just 11 shots. He can’t be held responsible for this discomfiture, but can Schmid be able to regain his magic soon enough? The question is valid.

Because the challenge of the Devils is significant. The Hurricanes don’t rely on shovel-popping star players — their leading scorer, Martin Necas, finished the season 58th in National League scoring — but they have a togetherness that makes them great opponents. formidable. And frustrating, too.

To add to it all, the Devils had to play this game without Timo Meier, who was knocked out in Game 7 of the series against the New York Rangers on Monday night following a violent face-off. failure of Jacob Trouba.

There will be no panic in the Devils camp, because there cannot be. Now is not the time for that. On the other hand, there must be answers from head coach Lindy Ruff. Because if the Hurricanes are often all alone on the ice like that, this series will not last very long.

A two point night to go with a 3

A short evening of work for the Devils goalkeeper

Number of shots by the Devils in the first period