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NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Florida



(Saturday, October 6th)

Final Score: New Jersey 4, Florida 1

Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - John Madden scored a pair of goals to help the New Jersey Devils beat Florida, 4-1, spoiling the Panthers' home opener at BankAtlantic Center.

Andrew Greene and Mike Mottau also tallied for New Jersey, which secured Brent Sutter's first victory as an NHL coach. Sutter took over the team in the offseason, but the Devils lost 3-1 at Tampa Bay on Thursday in his first game behind the bench.

Kevin Weekes ended with 32 saves in the win.

"It's always nice to win," said Weekes. "I can't count the number of times that we had guys deflect pucks off their guys on the rush. Defensively we had guys deflecting pucks and blocking shots. It says a lot about our team. That's always nice from a goalie's perspective."

Cory Murphy scored the lone goal for Florida, which is now 0-2 to start the season for the fourth time in its history. Tomas Vokoun made 18 saves in defeat.

"He (Vokoun) hasn't done the job," said Panthers head coach Jacques Martin. "That's the bottom line. But, it's a long season and he's going to have a lot of games. We've got to spend some time working with him. He's been through that before. It's nothing new for him."

The Devils were assertive from the opening faceoff, needing a little more than a minute to net the game's first goal. An odd-man rush led by Arron Asham produced the score, as the right winger steamed across the blue line and sent a crisp pass to Madden, who easily snapped the puck past Vokoun for the 1-0 lead.

Florida tied it up on the power play, as Olli Jokinen sent the puck from the high slot down low for Stephen Weiss, who dished right-to-left for Murphy. The young defenseman finished off the play by knocking the disc over the stick of Weekes at 9:13.

New Jersey went back on top in the second when Vokoun misplayed the puck behind his own net, allowing Madden to corral the disc and bank it off the skate of a Panthers' defenseman and across the goal line at 3:32.

Greene then pinched in deep and snuck the puck past the diving netminder with 2:16 remaining in the stanza, putting the Devils up by a pair.

Mottau lit the lamp unassisted with 7:24 remaining in the contest, giving New Jersey a three-goal cushion.

Game Notes

Murphy's goal was his first in the NHL...Devils defenseman Colin White (eye), right wing Jamie Langenbrunner (groin), and right wing Cam Janssen (separated shoulder) were inactive...New Jersey is opening the season with nine straight road games before its home opener on Oct. 27. The extended trip will allow time for construction of the team's new arena in Newark to be completed...The Devils have won 15 of 19 and 21 of the last 25 meetings with the Panthers, including 11 of the last 13 contests in Sunrise.

10/06 23:22:31 ET

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