Devils look to rebound against Panthers
Friday, 01.06.2012 / 9:14 AM
The Florida Panthers haven't played very well away from home lately, and they haven't had much success on the road against the New Jersey Devils in recent years.
Florida seeks to avoid a six-game road losing streak when it visits its old coach Peter DeBoer and New Jersey on Friday night.
The Southeast Division-leading Panthers (20-12-8) fell to 0-2-3 in their last five road games after a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday. They've been outscored 23-7 during those contests, only once scoring more than two goals.
Florida has lost seven of its last 11 overall.
Marcel Goc scored after missing the previous 22 games due to an upper-body injury, and Mikael Samuelsson had two assists in his return after sitting out the last five games with a similar injury.
Scott Clemmensen made 38 saves starting in place of Jose Theodore, who reportedly has a strained MCL that will keep him out for a few weeks.
"We're disappointed even though (New York) is a top team and we're playing in their building," Clemmensen said. "We're not satisfied with that. We want to beat everyone every night. This was a tough test for us."
It's unclear if Clemmensen - who played for New Jersey from 2001-07 as Martin Brodeur
's backup and again during the 2008-09 season - will get the start in this matchup. It might be a good idea, as he's 3-0-0 with a 2.36 goals-against average in four starts against his former team.
Though the Panthers won their last visit to New Jersey, 4-3 on Feb. 4, they've dropped 10 of their last 13 on the road against the Devils.
Florida has lost 10 of its last 13 on the road versus the Devils, who have been outscored 9-3 in dropping their last two games.
New Jersey (21-16-2) has dropped two straight after winning nine of its previous 12. The Devils fell 6-1 to Boston on Wednesday, allowing six unanswered goals following David Clarkson
's power-play tally in the first period.
"I don't think we throw this one out," said DeBoer, who coached Florida the past three seasons prior to his offseason firing and subsequent hiring by New Jersey. "We played the Stanley Cup champ when they were healthy and rested. We wanted to raise the bar to meet them and now we know how high we have to raise the bar. It's a good lesson for all of us."
Brodeur, who made only 21 saves, felt a bit differently.
"I can't sugarcoat it," said Brodeur, who allowed all six goals, a season high. "They dictated the game. We got our butts kicked in pretty good. We tried to match up against the best team in the league and we failed.
"But it's not the end of the world. We'll take this and get back to work. We always have the next day to work on what we know we did wrong."
, who has won three of his last four starts, will be in net to face the Panthers.
Brodeur was in goal when the Devils squandered a three-goal, first-period lead Nov. 21 at Florida. Kris Versteeg had two goals and an assist to help the Panthers rally for a 4-3 win.
Brodeur then made 24 saves to beat the Panthers 3-2 in a shootout Dec. 13, improving to 29-9-1 with a 1.96 GAA against Florida since 2000.