The Florida Panthers shoot for their second win in a row tonight as they welcome the New Jersey Devils to Bank Atlantic Center for tonight’s contest.
The Panthers took advantage of the Crosby-less Penguins, who played their last game Saturday night without their superstar, in a 3-2 victory. Stephen Weiss scored with 3:30 remaining in the third period to lift the Cats to the victory. Brian Campbell and Tomas Fleischmann also scored for Florida. Jose Theodore had 39 saves in the victory.
With the victory, and a 7-1 victory by the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Washington Capitals, Florida moved into sole possession of the SouthEast Division lead with 23 points (10-6-3).
New Jersey also enters tonight’s contest on a little hot streak of their own as they have back-to-back victories against Buffalo on Wednesday night (5-3) and Saturday against Tampa Bay (4-2). Martin Brodeur appeared to find his form posting both victories after a shaky start to the season.
“It’s all about winning games,” said Brodeur. “I thought we played an extremely disciplined game.”
The main focus on tonight’s game will be the Panthers who are playing former coach Pete DeBoer since firing him in the off-season leading the way for new head coach Kevin Dineen. The Cats failed to make the playoffs in his three-years with the organization.
“For a lot of seasons, I’d like to win that one,” said DeBoer about Monday’s contest. “It will be interesting. I haven’t been back to a place I’ve been fired before, so it will be a first-time experience for me. Listen, I had three great years there.”
Tonight will mark the first of four meetings between the two clubs this season. Last season, the two clubs split the series 2-2.
New Jersey Devils: (10-7-1, 10th Eastern Conference, 4th Atlantic Division) (6-4-0 Road)
Florida Panthers: (10-6-3, 3rd Eastern Conference, 1st SouthEast Division) (3-2-3 Home)
Powerplay: NJD (13.4% 26th NHL) – FLA (21.0% 6th NHL)
Penalty Kill: NJD (92.8% 1stNHL) – FLA (81.1% 17th NHL)
GF/GA: NJD (45GF, 25th NHL / 49GA, 15th NHL) – FLA (55GF, tied 11th NHL / 49GA, 9th NHL)
Buffalo Sabres: Travis Zajac (Left Achilles Surgery), Eric Boulton (Sore Right Hand), Jacob Josefson (Right Clavical Surgery
Florida Panthers: Scott Clemmesen (Lower Body), Mikael Samuelsson (Groin), Scottie Upshall (Upper Body), Matt Bradley (Upper Body), Marcel Goc (Upper Body)