RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Carolina Hurricanes beat New Jersey 3-1 at home Thursday to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
The Hurricanes got some help from the Washington Capitals, who beat Montreal 2-1 in regulation. They sit in the first wildcard spot with one game remaining — a trip to Philadelphia on Saturday.
Carolina has 97 points, which is two fewer than Pittsburgh, which is third in the Metropolitan Division. Columbus has 94 points with two games remaining. The Canadiens are on the outside looking in due to tiebreakers with 94 points and one game remaining.
Andy Greene opened the scoring in the first period, but Warren Foegle evened things up around the halfway mark.
Justin Faulk, who has been with the Hurricanes his entire career and has never played postseason hockey, scored the game-winning goal on a second-period power play. Nino Niederreiter gave them some breathing room with a goal in the third.