|NJD||1||1||1||1||(0 - 0)||4|
|FLA||2||0||1||0||(0 - 0)||3|
GAME: New Jersey Devils (38-23-12-2) at Florida Panthers (27-31-14-3).
TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
A trip to Florida should lift the spirits of Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.
Brodeur will try for a third time for his 400th NHL victory and the Devils will try to wrap up a postseason berth when they visit the Panthers.
Brodeur is unbeaten in his last 13 games on the road in this series, dating to April 1997, and is 21-2-3 in his past 26 starts against the Panthers. New Jersey has won seven straight at Florida and is 18-4-3 in the last 25 meetings overall.
"It's always fun to play here," Brodeur said after making 27 saves in a 5-2 win at Florida on March 3. "Whenever we come here we have a good time. It's a different atmosphere."
Brodeur's Devils fell into the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race by going 0-1-1 in a home-and-home series with Montreal over the weekend. The Canadiens and Devils each have 90 points, but Montreal owns the tiebreaker with more wins.
"You've got to tip your hat to Montreal, they beat us this weekend," Devils center Scott Gomez said after Saturday's 3-2 loss. "It was a good series but we've just got to move on. They're flying high right now and now we've got to catch them."
A victory in either of those games with the Canadiens would have clinched a playoff spot for the Devils and Brodeur would have recorded his 400th win. Only seven goaltenders have reached that plateau.
The Panthers saw their playoff hopes become even slimmer by losing their last two games, 3-2 at Atlanta on Friday and 2-1 to Buffalo on Saturday. They've fallen 11 points behind the eighth-place Islanders with seven games to play.
Florida has had 25 penalties in the last three games and has given up a power-play goal in four straight.
"We weren't able to win the last two games and they were the biggest games of the year," Panthers center Olli Jokinen said. "Penalties are going to kill your legs, and we took stupid penalties."
STANDINGS: Devils - 90 points, 2nd place, 6 PB, Atlantic Division. Panthers - 71 points, 3rd place (tied), 26 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Patrik Elias, 34 goals and 67 points; Gomez, 47 assists; Colin White, 87 PIM. Panthers - Jokinen, 23 goals, 25 assists and 48 points; Darcy Hordichuk, 147 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 21): Devils - Power play: 15.2 percent (42 for 276), 21st in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.8 percent (207 for 244), 6th. Panthers - Power play: 16.3 percent (46 for 283), 17th. Penalty killing: 86.1 percent (297 for 345), 2nd.
GOALTENDERS: Devils - Brodeur (34-24-11, 10 SO, 2.03 GAA); Scott Clemmensen (2-1-0, 1, 1.35). Panthers - Roberto Luongo (24-30-13, 7, 2.33); Steve Shields (3-4-1, 3.42).
SEASON SERIES: Devils, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: March 3; Devils, 5-2. At Sunrise, Fla., Elias scored twice and Gomez had a goal and four assists as the Devils ended a three-game losing streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 18-11-7-1 on the road; Panthers - 15-13-6-2 at home.
|Mar 23 '04||NJD 4 at FLA 3 - OT||S. Niedermayer|
|Mar 03 '04||NJD 5 at FLA 2||S. Niedermayer|
|Nov 13 '03||FLA 1 at NJD 3||B. Gionta|
|Oct 22 '03||FLA 2 at NJD 1||O. Jokinen|