Devils 3, Panthers 2, SO

Associated Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Once they went to a shootout, Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils had plenty of reason to feel confident.

Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias scored in the shootout and Brodeur stopped both Florida Panthers attempts, lifting the Devils to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night that made them 7-1 in shootouts.

"It's a big win for us, a big road trip," Brodeur said. "I think we showed a lot of character. We played pretty good. We deserved it."

Elias and Zach Parise had the New Jersey goals in regulation. Brodeur made 24 saves to help the Devils rally from a two-goal deficit for their fourth win in five games.

Kris Versteeg scored twice for Florida, which dropped its third straight and fell to 1-4 in shootouts. Jose Theodore stopped 32 shots.

"There was so much interference, you expect (ex-Devils defenseman) Kenny Daneyko to jump over the boards," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "It was like a game from the `80s, there was so much interference out there. It made for tough sledding."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer, however, enjoyed what he saw.

"I'm happy we got the two points. I think we deserved them," said DeBoer, who coached the Panthers the past three seasons. "But even if we hadn't, I like the way we played."

Parise tied it 2-all at 7:40 of the third period. Henrik Tallinder's slap shot from straight on just inside the blue line went wide of the net to Theodore's right. The puck ricocheted off the end boards and went right to Parise, who slammed it in for his 10th goal.

Versteeg's short-handed breakaway goal at 7:29 of the second gave Florida a 2-0 lead.

Shortly after a faceoff at center ice, Versteeg stick-checked the puck away from Tallinder. Versteeg took control of the puck and skated in alone on Brodeur before firing a shot high past the goalie's glove side.

Just 56 seconds after Versteeg's second goal, Elias made it 2-1.

Kovalchuk had the puck behind the Devils' net and sent a pass to Parise in the left circle. Parise drew several players toward him before passing to Elias at the right side of the net for his 10th goal.

"We played really solid and we were aggressive," Elias said. "When you do that, it's funny how it works sometimes, and you end up on the winning side."

Adam Larsson's turnover deep in the New Jersey zone led to Versteeg's goal that gave Florida a 1-0 lead at 15:10 of the first period.

Larsson was in the right corner when he attempted a weak backhand pass. Stephen Weiss intercepted in the circle and skated in on Brodeur. The Florida forward deked as he skated across the front of the net, causing Brodeur to hit the ice. Weiss then sent a pass back to Versteeg, who scored his team-leading 14th goal.

New Jersey's Petr Sykora missed an opportunity to score the decisive goal in the final seconds of regulation when, standing just outside the crease, he redirected a pass from Mark Fayne wide of an open net.

"We were lucky - we gave up a pretty good opportunity," Florida defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. "We'll put the point in the bank, but we know as a team we could be a lot better."

NOTES: It was the second meeting of the season for these teams, both in Florida. The Panthers overcame a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 on Nov. 21. ... Florida's four-game homestand continues against Calgary on Friday, Carolina on Sunday and Phoenix next Tuesday. ... New Jersey's NHL-leading penalty-killing unit was needed only once, successfully killing Dainius Zubrus' tripping penalty midway through the third period. ... The Devils improved to 12-5-0 in one-goal games. It was their fifth straight one-goal game.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
15:10FLA Kris Versteeg (14) ASST: Stephen Weiss (20) 1 - 0 FLA
2nd Period
07:29FLA SHG - Kris Versteeg (15) ASST: NONE 2 - 0 FLA
08:25NJD Patrik Elias (10) ASST: Ilya Kovalchuk (11), Bryce Salvador (4) 2 - 1 FLA
3rd Period
07:40NJD Zach Parise (10) ASST: Henrik Tallinder (4), Ilya Kovalchuk (12) 2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
1NJDIlya Kovalchuk - Goal
2FLATomas Fleischmann - Save
3NJDZach Parise - Save
4FLAKris Versteeg - Save
5NJDPatrik Elias - Goal
Shootout Summary
RNDNew Jersey DevilsFlorida Panthers
1Ilya KovalchukTomas Fleischmann
2Zach PariseKris Versteeg
3Patrik Elias
Three Stars of the Game
Kris Versteeg
Kris Versteeg
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 22:37
Ilya Kovalchuk
Ilya Kovalchuk
G: 0Shots: 5
A: 2Hits: 6
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 28:14
Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur
SA: 26TOI: 65:00
GA: 2EV: 24-25
PIM: 0PP: 0-0
SV%: .923SH: 0-1
Penalty Summary
1st Period
03:13FLA Krys Barch  Fighting (maj) against  Cam Janssen
03:13NJD Cam Janssen  Fighting (maj) against  Krys Barch
03:13FLA Mike Santorelli  Holding against  Mattias Tedenby
16:53FLA Krys Barch  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
2nd Period
05:40FLA Ed Jovanovski  Hi-sticking against  David Clarkson
18:49FLA Mike Weaver  Roughing against  Ilya Kovalchuk
18:49FLA Dmitry Kulikov  Roughing against  Zach Parise
18:49NJD Ilya Kovalchuk  Roughing against  Dmitry Kulikov
18:49NJD Zach Parise  Roughing against  Mike Weaver
19:16FLA Stephen Weiss  Hooking against  David Clarkson
3rd Period
09:05NJD Dainius Zubrus  Tripping against  Stephen Weiss
OT Period
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/40/1
Faceoff Wins3031
Blocked Shots811
Penalty Minutes1117
2K. FosterD0004021:53
5A. LarssonD0003018:17
7H. TallinderD0102023:50
8D. ZubrusC0000220:01
9Z. PariseL1013221:58
14A. HenriqueC0001022:18
15P. SykoraR00-13016:50
17I. KovalchukR0215228:14
18T. SestitoL00-1007:21
20R. CarterL0000014:24
21M. TedenbyR000007:09
22E. BoultonL0003011:23
23D. ClarksonR0002019:15
24B. SalvadorD0102018:27
25C. JanssenR00-1053:34
26P. EliasC1012020:49
29M. FayneD0003023:55
32M. TaorminaD0001018:22
30M. Brodeur2426.92365:00
4K. EllerbyD0002013:45
7D. KulikovD0010223:28
9S. WeissC0111223:15
12J. SkilleR00-11012:32
13M. SantorelliC000127:44
14T. FleischmannL0003021:22
16M. SturmL00-11014:37
18S. MatthiasC0000017:22
20S. BergenheimL0003017:39
21K. BarchR000075:31
22M. BradleyR000106:41
26M. SamuelssonR0003013:40
32K. VersteegR2012022:37
43M. WeaverD0011222:32
51B. CampbellD00-13027:19
52J. GarrisonD00-11024:41
55E. JovanovskiD0001218:21
82T. KopeckyR00-12018:54
60J. Theodore3234.94165:00