NHL Game Summary - Florida at New Jersey
(Sunday, January 23rd)
Final Score: New Jersey 5, Florida 2
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists as the New Jersey Devils continued to roll with a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers.
Jason Arnott scored twice, Brian Rolston had a goal and an assist while Patrik Elias also scored for the red-hot Devils, who have won four straight and are 6-0-1 in their last seven. Martin Brodeur stopped 24 shots for the win.
"Any streak of wins we'll take right now," said Brodeur. "Right now we feel like we're doing the right things and right now we'll take advantage of what's going on. It's nice to be having fun out there once again."
Shawn Matthias and Marty Reasoner each had a goal for the Panthers, who have dropped four straight.
Scott Clemmensen started in net but was pulled after giving up two goals on eight shots in the first period. Jacob Markstrom finished the game and in his NHL debut gave up two goals on 14 shots.
"They've tightened things up as a team over there," said Florida head coach Peter DeBoer. "Their top players have found their game again and we knew coming in that they are a hot team. It showed with the way they played."
New Jersey struck 4:20 into the contest when a slap shot at the right point by Andy Greene was tipped into the net by Kovalchuk for his 14th goal of the season.
In the waning moments of the opening frame, the Devils made it a 2-0 game as Arnott grabbed the loose puck in the slot and backhanded it home for his 11th of the season.
The Panthers made it a one-goal game at the 7:22 mark of the second when Matthias snapped a wrist shot into the net while skating at the inside left circle.
However, the Devils scored a pair of power-play goals to take command of the situation.
The first came with Keaton Ellerby in the box as Kovalchuk sent a pass from the left point to the right where Rolston's heavy one-timer found the back of the net with 7:12 left in the second.
With under three minutes to play in the second and two Panthers in the box, Elias flung a shot on net from the low right circle that found a hole for a 4-1 lead.
Florida made it a two-goal contest 5:56 into the third when Reasoner chipped in a rebound from in front.
However, Florida was unable to get any closer and Arnott sealed the win with an empty-net goal.
The Devils have off until Wednesday when they will play in Detroit...The Panthers play against the Rangers in New York on Tuesday...Florida took a 3-2 decision in overtime on January 15 in Florida in the only other meeting between these two squads this season...New Jersey was 2-for-3 on the power play while Florida failed to score on its only chance.
01/23 20:53:11 ET