It simply wasn’t a good enough performance by Alek Manoah and the Blue Jays as a whole. The team lacked crispness in a loss to the Phillies.

It’s hard to see Game 3 of this series as anything other than a blip on the radar, especially now that the Carolina Hurricanes have reasserted themselves in such dominant fashion to take a stranglehold over the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils were 8-4 winners on Sunday. They made the necessary sacrifices to their own style and got down and dirty and on the level with the Hurricanes to push their way back into the series.

But the challenge was always going to be staying in the mud with the Hurricanes and sustaining the type of effort required to beat them.

It looked like the Devils were going to keep advancing on that path when they took a 1-0 lead early in Game 4 and applied all kinds of pressure over the first seven minutes.

But the minute they got stuck in that mud, the Hurricanes took over and buried them.

They tied the game in the 18th minute of the first period, piled up five goals in the second, cruised to a 6-1 win and are now headed home to Carolina with a chance to put the Devils down.

Frederik Andersen proving naysayers wrong

The Danish goaltender earned a reputation—rightly or wrongly—for being fragile in playoffs past but has been nothing short of fantastic since entering these playoffs late in the first round.

And when Andersen wasn’t all that in Game 3, he bounced back strong in Game 4.

Without him, the Hurricanes would’ve been trailing by a significant margin early on. Andersen made huge saves on Michael McLeod and Dougie Hamilton before Jack Hughes tipped in a Timo Meyer shot 1:55 into the first period, and he shut the door the rest of the way after Hughes scored, stopping the remaining 30 shots he faced.

Andersen leads all remaining goaltenders to have appeared in at least four playoff games with a .930 save percentage, and he’s a big reason why the Hurricanes are on the precipice of advancing to the Eastern Conference Final.

Jordan Martinook on a heater

He was blanked off the scoresheet by the New York Islanders in Round 1 but has since produced 10 points against the Devils.

On Tuesday, Martinook set up three goals before scoring Carolina’s sixth of the game, and he did it all in remarkable fashion—at top speed, with vision and finesse.

Not bad for a guy who played less than 14 minutes and, at one point this season, had a 24-game goal drought.

Martinook had a career-high 34 points this season, so to see him with 10 points in this series is really something.

Sebastian Aho, who’s Carolina’s best player, has just three points.

Balanced scoring makes Hurricanes practically unstoppable

Game 4 against the Devils was the second of 10 games in which Aho didn’t record a single point, but it was of no consequence.

The Hurricanes have proven they don’t need their most offensive players to score in order to win. They haven’t had Max Pacioretty and Andrei Svechnikov for any of these games, and Teuvo Teravainen has been out for the last seven, and they’re scoring at a breakneck pace—averaging 3.7 goals per game (third among remaining playoff teams).

Five different players scored in Game 1 of this series, five different players scored in Game 2, four different players accounted for their four goals in Game 3, and it was five again in Game 4.

Every player dressed in the Hurricanes lineup has at least one point in the playoffs and eight of their players have at least three goals.

Imagine if this team gets its power play running?

The Hurricanes are getting chances with the man advantage, but they’ve scored just six goals on a playoff-leading 35 power plays.

Devils need a miracle from their goaltender, whichever one plays Game 5

For a third time in this series, the Devils’ starting goaltender was pulled from the game.

This time it was Vitek Vanecek after Akira Schmid was yanked from Games 1 and 2.

In Game 3, Vanecek still allowed four goals. And in Game 4, he was in the net for five.

We’re not sure who starts Game 5—Mackenzie Blackwood?—but whoever it is will have to play the best game the Devils have gotten out of a goaltender in these playoffs, or they’ll be headed home to pack up their lockers come Friday.