Devils entertain Panthers tonight at the Rock
Friday, 12.11.2009 / 7:00 PM
NHL.comPANTHERS (11-14-6) at DEVILS (21-7-1)
Last 10 --
Florida 1-5-4; New Jersey 7-2-1
Season series --
It seems like eons ago that the Devils defeated the Panthers on Oct. 10 to notch their first winning streak of the season -- two games -- and improve to 2-2-0 on the season. David Clarkson's
goal with 3:35 left in regulation gave them a 3-2 victory. In 2008-09, the Devils went 3-1 against the Panthers. In Florida's lone win, Tomas Vokoun made 36 saves in a 4-0 shutout.
Big Story --
Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen returns to face the team that presented him his first NHL opportunity. Clemmensen, who will start in goal, signed with Florida last July and is 4-3-0 with a 4.01 goals-against average and .880 save percentage this season. He finished 25-13-1 with a 2.39 GAA and .917 save percentage as the primary fill-in for an injured Martin Brodeur
In addition to the fact the Devils have won nine of their last 10 at Prudential Center, all eyes will again be on Brodeur, who needs one more shutout to establish a new NHL record of 104. He's currently tied with Hall of Fame goaltender Terry Sawchuk with 103 career shutouts.
"As you get older, you realize the big picture is what's most important," Brodeur said. "It's important to play each game but we're happy with the way that everyone is contributing for us to be successful this season. You play to be the top team because that gives you the home-ice advantage. The shutout record will happen when it happens."
The club is on a downhill spiral right now, losing nine of its last 10 games. The Miami Herald reported on Thursday that Florida worked on its shootout skills at the end of Wednesday's skate at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. DeBoer admitted it was an "open tryout." The Panthers are 5-5 in shootouts this season after going 3-8 in 2008-09. Steven Reinprecht has a team-leading 3 shootout goals in 10 opportunities.
Who's Hot --
Devils wing Jamie Langenbrunner
has a six-game point-scoring streak (2 goals, 7 points) and has 5 goals and 18 points in his last 15 games.
Injury Report --
The Devils are without defenseman Paul Martin
(arm), center Dainius Zubrus
(leg) and right wing David Clarkson
(leg). … For the Panthers, forward Gregory Campbell (possible concussion) is day-to-day while Kenndal McArdle (shoulder), Cory Stillman (left knee), David Booth (concussion) and Nick Tarnasky (facial surgery) remain out.
Stat Pack --
Devils center Patrik Elias
, who has played 837 career games spanning 12-plus seasons, needs one goal to reach 300 for his career. John MacLean is the all-time goal-scoring leader for New Jersey with 347 goals in 934 games spanning 14-plus seasons with the Devils.
Puck Drop --
Brodeur's last shutout over Florida occurred Oct. 26, 2006, when he turned aside 29 shots in a 2-0 victory. It was his fifth over the Panthers in his career.