For all the talk about the Canes needing to get more production from their top lines against the Devils, what about Anton Babchuk?
The defenseman had a team-high four goals against the Devils in the four regular-season games. All came on power plays, and his hard, heavy shot got the attention of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.
Babchuk tied for fifth among NHL defensemen with 16 goals and tied for eighth with nine power-play goals. But in three playoff games, Babchuk has just two shots on goal and has not scored.
"He hasn't been on the (power-play) first unit," Brodeur said today. "He has been on the second unit, so that's a little different from when we played them in the regular season.
"Definitely we key on him and (Joe) Corvo. Everybody has got a good shot on their blue line and is a threat. (Babchuk) has been getting shots five-on-five — on the power play he hasn't been open that much. Or if he does, it's on the side and maybe he doesn't want to take that shot.
"But every game is different and the opportunity will come. As far as we can avoid it, good."
Canes coach Paul Maurice said the Devils' penalty kill teams have been more aggressive on the points on the power play.
"Part of it is we haven't created enough motion down low to draw their people down," he said. "And even five-on-five (Babchuk) is not getting it off as much."
Babchuk said he wasn't sure what strategy the Devils may be employing to keep him from getting good looks and shooting lanes, noting he needs to shoot the puck more to get a better feel for it.
"It's been frustrating for everyone, and I'm included," he said. "But we'll figure it out. We're working on some things to try and score more goals on the power play. We'll see."