Florida
Panthers
41-30-11
New Jersey
Devils
51-27-4

17 SOG
46 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
FLA
NJD
game preview

NJD Preview: Devils vs. Panthers

Saturday, 02.28.2009 / 1:00 PM

Associated Press

Martin Brodeur is destined for the Hall of Fame, but it was still tough to tell how the star goaltender would perform in his first start after missing 50 games due to left elbow surgery.

It turned out it was just like 98 other games in his career - flawless.

After posting his 99th shutout in his return to the lineup, Brodeur will be back in goal this afternoon when the Devils host the Florida Panthers (1 p.m., MSG Plus, WFAN 660 AM).

New Jersey (39-19-3) was 1-5-0 in its first six games without the four-time Vezina Trophy winner, but hardly struggled at all after a four-game losing streak in mid-November. The Devils went 31-12-1 in their last 44 contests with Brodeur on the shelf, compiling the second-most points in the league during that stretch and seizing command of the Atlantic Division.

Even with the stellar work Scott Clemmensen and Kevin Weekes did, New Jersey was thrilled to get Brodeur back Thursday night, particularly considering how he looked in his return to the ice. Brodeur stopped 24 shots in the Devils' 4-0 victory over Colorado in his first game since Nov. 1.

"It was an exciting night to get out there and perform," Brodeur said. "I was really anxious all day, more nervous than I thought I was going to be. We pulled it off. It was nice to score early in the game. I didn't get much work. It was a nice game to play."

It was Brodeur's third shutout of the season and moved him within four of Terry Sawchuk's regular-season NHL record of 103. The victory was his 545th, putting him six back of Patrick Roy's league record.

"You just go out there and play," said Brodeur, who's 6-4-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average in his last 10 starts against Florida. "Sometimes it happens. I never really think about it and I don't want to jinx myself thinking about shutouts."

The Devils had been shut out twice in their previous three games, but Zach Parise and Travis Zajac made sure that wouldn't happen again with a goal and two assists apiece.

None of Parise's team-high 36 goals this season have come in New Jersey's three meetings with Florida (31-22-8), and he hasn't scored in the last nine games in the series.

The Devils scored three goals in each of the first two matchups this season and won both, then Tomas Vokoun made 36 saves in Florida's 4-0 home win on Feb. 17.

Aside from that victory, the Panthers haven't recorded more than two goals in any of their past seven games as they've alternated wins and losses.

They trailed the New York Rangers 1-0 after two periods Thursday at Madison Square Garden, but David Booth and Nathan Horton scored a minute apart in the third to give Florida a 2-1 win. That vaulted the Panthers into a tie with the Rangers for sixth place in the Eastern Conference despite being outshot 41-22.

"The Rangers played a great hockey game," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "We're fortunate to get out of here with two points, but we'll take it.

"We're all in such a close battle. That's a four-point game and everybody on both sides knows it."

Craig Anderson made 40 saves Thursday while subbing for Vokoun, who's been battling an ear infection and his missed the past two games.

Vokoun, who has three of his six shutouts in his past six starts, should return Saturday.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 28 '09FLA 2 at NJD 7B. Shanahan
Feb 17 '09NJD 0 at FLA 4S. Weiss
Nov 26 '08NJD 3 at FLA 2 - OTJ. Oduya
Nov 20 '08FLA 1 at NJD 3P. Martin
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Weiss58103242+141834
D. Booth53211738+112463
N. Horton53181937-63845
C. Stillman44122335+02952
J. Bouwmeester62121931+25871
M. Frolik59141529+22212
R. Dvorak61101828+62602
G. Campbell57121527+45911
B. McCabe52111627+42852
R. Zednik51121426+63822
K. Ballard6252025+135811
V. Peltonen60101323+101801
N. Boynton5641216+08301
K. Kreps4721214+01400
K. Skrastins604812+82600
B. McLean604711-142701
A. Stewart52257-53400
J. Cullimore48167-122900
R. Olesz23235-4400
N. Tarnasky36044-44500
N. Welch21112-51100
S. Matthias16022-3200
M. Repik4101+0200
C. Murphy7011-1200
B. Allen2011+2000
W. Belak15000+02500
T. Glass3000+0700
K. McArdle3000-1200
J. Sprukts1000+0000
J. Garrison1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
T. Vokoun4420-17-39713362.41.927
C. Anderson2611-6-5628022.78.923
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
Z. Parise62383876+2522126
P. Elias62244367+132885
J. Langenbrunner61193453+224835
T. Zajac62183553+302742
B. Gionta61133447+122820
D. Zubrus62132033+85911
D. Clarkson62141226+112043
B. Rolston44121123+12662
J. Oduya6241923+232213
J. Madden5661622-31802
P. Martin5341822+202821
C. White5611314+192800
B. Salvador563811+25902
M. Mottau601910+192100
J. Pandolfo50459-81001
M. Rupp57358-210700
A. Greene39178+01400
B. Holik44437-34001
B. Shanahan15437+11921
A. Salmela17033+1600
P. Vrana16101-4200
N. Bergfors8101-1000
J. Leach24011+02100
P. Letourneau-Leblond6011+11500
M. Halischuk1011-1000
S. Brookbank15000+12500
B. Tallackson4000-1000
P. Davis1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
S. Clemmensen4025-13-19411382.39.917
M. Brodeur128-2-2232911.96.921
K. Weekes137-4-0273542.32.924
(c) New Jersey Devils 2013 - All Rights Reserved
newjerseydevils.com is the official web site of the New Jersey Devils, a member team of the National Hockey League ("NHL"). NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 New Jersey Devils and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Advertise With Us | Contact Us | Terms of UseEmploymentNHL.com Terms of Use |  Site Map