New Jersey visits the Florida Panthers on Saturday (7:00 PM, FSN NY2, WFAN 660 AM). Tonight's game marks the first of four games between the two teams, and the first of two games to be played at the BankAtlantic Center.
Sutter, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the New York Islanders, took over New Jersey in the offseason. He inherited a team that went 49-24-9 last season, won the Atlantic Division and reached the second round of the playoffs before falling to eventual Eastern Conference champion Ottawa.
The Devils lost 3-1 at Tampa Bay in Sutter's debut Thursday. Brian Gionta scored the lone goal for New Jersey.
"We played pretty well the last 17 minutes of the first and played a really good second period," Sutter said. "We had lots of chances. I thought we stood around too much in the third. We weren't assertive enough."
Martin Brodeur, who led the NHL with 48 wins and 12 shutouts last season, stopped 21 of 23 shots in his 13th consecutive season-opening start for the Devils.
"It was a tough loss for us," center Sergei Brylin said. "Nobody wants to start the year with a loss, but I guess we have to look at the positive things that we did. Just little mistakes here and there cost us a game."
New Jersey is opening the season with nine straight road games before its home opener at Prudential Center on Oct. 27.
Since the start of the 1997-98 season, the Devils are 14-4-0 with a tie in Florida, though they have lost two of their last three games there. In its last 34 games overall against the Panthers, New Jersey is 25-6-0 with three ties.Brodeur is 30-10-0 with seven ties and a 1.96 goals-against average in 47 games against Florida. New Jersey won the 2006-07 season's series 3-1-0
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