NHL Game Summary - Florida at New Jersey|
(Friday, January 6th)
Final Score: New Jersey 5, Florida 2
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Patrik Elias, playing in his 1,000th career
game, assisted on Ilya Kovalchuk's go-ahead goal midway through the third
period, and the New Jersey Devils beat the Florida Panthers, 5-2, on Friday
Elias had a goal and two assists and joined Ken Daneyko and teammate Martin
Brodeur as the only players to reach the 1,000-game mark as career-long
Since being selected in the second round of the 1994 draft by the Devils,
Elias has gone on to become New Jersey's all-time regular-season leader in
just about every single offensive category.
"I was pretty excited to play this game. Even if it's your first NHL game I
think the adrenalin and excitement is the same," Elias said.
Kovalchuk had two goals for the Devils, who snapped a two-game skid, while
Adam Henrique and Zach Parise both had a goal and an assist.
Johan Hedberg made 22 saves for the victors.
Mikael Samuelsson and Krystofer Barch lit the lamp for the Panthers, who have
lost two in a row and six of eight. Jacob Markstrom turned aside 24-of-27
Barch returned from a one-game suspension for uttering a racial remark in the
direction of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban last week.
"We have to start winning on the road. There's no excuses," said Barch. "You
have to get two points."
With the score tied at 2-2, Elias and Kovalchuk hooked up for the go-ahead
goal at the 11:40 mark of the third period. Elias carried the puck down the
left wing and to the bottom of the circle before passing in front to
Kovalchuk, whose tip-in found the back of the net.
Parise was sent to the penalty box for a delay of game with 2:52 to play and
Florida pulled Markstrom with 30 seconds left on the power play for a two-man
But Kovalchuk's empty-net goal made it a 4-2 contest. Parise also added an
empty-net goal to account for the final margin.
The Devils drew first blood at the 3:53 mark of the first period. Parise won a
battle for the puck behind the net and slid a pass in front for Henrique,
whose backhander beat Markstrom.
Samuelsson tied the game exactly four minutes later on a snap shot from the
top of the right circle.
Elias' slapper from the high slot made it a 2-1 game just 36 seconds into the
The back-and-forth battle continued about two minutes later. Barch's snap shot
from the slot got past Hedberg to make it 2-2.
Florida has lost five of seven and 11 of its last 14 at New Jersey...Ex-Devil
John Madden made his Panthers debut on Friday...The Devils were without Travis
Zajac (left Achilles tendon soreness) and Anton Volchenkov (right leg
strain)...The Panthers have been outscored 28-9 over a six-game slide on the
01/06 23:34:43 ET