Devils 4, Panthers 1 (Final)
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:14 AMnewjerseydevils.com (Oct. 6) –
The Brent Sutter era officially has its first win.
The Devils got two goals from John Madden, including a power-play tally, and 32 saves from Kevin Weekes on Saturday to defeat the Florida Panthers, 4-1, in Sunrise, Fla.
The victory was Sutter's first as Devils' head coach, and first of New Jersey's season-long nine-game road trip.
Sutter shuffled some of the line combinations that he used in Thursday's 3-1 loss in Tampa Bay, and the move paid quick dividends.
Madden and Jay Pandolfo were reunited on a line with Arron Asham, and the trio combined for the first goal of the game just 1:02 into the opening period.
After a defensive scramble near Weekes, Pandolfo was able to steer the puck past Florida's Nathan Horton to spring a 3-on-1. Asham rushed the puck up ice, and put a pass across to Madden, who redirected it past Tomas Vokoun for a 1-0 lead.
In net, the Devils turned to Weekes, who made his first appearance of the regular season.
Weekes stood tall early, making 20 first-period saves, and his only miscue came on a Cory Murphy
goal with the Devils shorthanded two skaters.
Paul Martin was whistled for interference at 7:58, erasing 26 seconds of New Jersey's first power play, and Johnny Oduya was called for holding with the Devils still on the kill. The Panthers capitalized on the two-man advantage when Murphy beat Weekes with a one-timer from the left faceoff dot.
Despite being outshot 21-9 in the first period, the Devils were even at 1-1 after one. In the second period, the forecheck helped New Jersey retake the lead.
On the power play, David Clarkson
pressured Vokoun, who ventured behind the Florida net to play the puck, and Madden was able to cash in once again. Vokoun mishandled, and Madden put it toward the crease where it ricocheted off of Florida's Branislav Mezei and into the unguarded net for a 2-1 Devils lead at 3:32Andy Greene
later added the Devils' second power-play goal of the period when he held in a Panther clearing attempt at the left point, and found Patrik Elias
in the high slot.
Elias' fired a shot toward the net that drifted wide, but Greene was the first one to the rebound and was able to bank a shot off of a sprawling Vokoun for a 3-1 lead at 17:44.
New Jersey's fourth goal came at 12:36 of the third period, when defenseman Mike Mottau scored his first career NHL goal on a wrist shot from the point
Next up, the Devils prepare to face the Senators in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 8 at 3:00 p.m. (MSG, WWDJ 970 AM).NJD NOTES
New Jersey went 2-for-6 with the man advantage, holding Florida to 1-for-5... While the first-period shot count was heavily weighted in Florida's favor, the Devils turned the tide in second, outshooting Florida 12-5... Pandolfo was called for tripping at 9:39 of the second period for his second minor penalty in as many games. He had just eight penalty minutes all of last season... Playing in his 200th career NHL contest, Mike Rupp left the ice late in the second period after taking a Ruslan Salei stick to the face. He later returned.