(Raleigh) The Carolina Hurricanes settled the case of the New York Islanders on April 28. It gave them a good breather before they faced the New Jersey Devils, winners of a seventh game against the New York Rangers.

“We had time to breathe a bit,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. I think we needed it mentally. »

The series will begin Wednesday night at the PNC Arena, against the Devils who played as recently as Monday.

“Experience has taught me that it’s even better to get back into action early,” Devils pilot Lindy Ruff said. Two days of rest instead of four or five. We are driving at high speed right now. »

The teams in attendance finished in the first two places of the Metropolitan section.

Carolina finished just one point ahead of New Jersey.

With the Boston Bruins out of the picture, either the Hurricanes (113 points) or the Devils (112) will have home ice advantage for the rest of the playoffs.

Twenty-two-year-old goaltender Akira Schmid was solid in the first round for the Devils, despite his lack of experience.

The Swiss played just 24 total games in his first two NHL campaigns.

Finding themselves in the second round for the first time since 2012, the Devils have had good returns from somewhat surprising sources at this point.

Third line center for most of the season, Erik Haula was inserted on the left wing of the second line and led his team with four goals.

A two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Tampa Bay Lighting, Ondrej Palat had two goals and five points. In Game 7, he was an accomplice to Michael McLeod’s shorthanded goal. The latter scored his first goal since January.

Injuries limited Palat to 49 regular season games.

The Devils advanced to the next round even with a pointless streak for Timo Meier, acquired from the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline.

In 21 regular season games with New Jersey, the Swiss had nine goals and 14 points.

In their four wins over the Rangers, the Devils have allowed zero goals on 18 shorthanded.