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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, October 10th (All times eastern)

New Jersey Devils (1-2-0) at Florida Panthers (1-2-0), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Panthers didn't enjoy their return to the United States. Perhaps they will do better now that they are back in their home state.

Florida plays host to the New Jersey Devils this evening in its first game this season at BankAtlantic Center.

The Panthers return home to Sunrise tonight having lost two of three to start the season. They split a pair of games with the Blackhawks in Helsinki, Finland before getting hammered 7-2 at Carolina last night.

The Hurricanes scored three times in the first period and led 4-0 before Shawn Matthias got the Panthers on the board in the second period. Michael Frolik added a third-period tally for Florida for his second goal of the season.

"Hats off to Carolina, they played a great first period, and the game was over in the first 20 minutes, that was the story of the game," said Florida head coach Peter DeBoer. "We turned pucks over and made mental mistakes, and they capitalized."

Tomas Vokoun allowed five goals on 26 shots before getting pulled early in the third period. Alexander Salak finished the game and yielded a pair of tallies on seven shots.

Though credited as the host in one of the Finland matchups, tonight marks the Panthers first contest this season at BankAtlantic Center, where the club went 22-12-7 last year.

The Devils dropped back-to-back home divisional contests to start the season before picking up a road win in Tampa on Thursday. Travis Zajac tied the contest with just one second left in regulation before Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner scored in the shootout to give New Jersey its first victory of 2009-10.

Parise and Zajac each had a goal and an assist for the Devils, who have won eight straight meetings against Tampa Bay. Jay Pandolfo had the other goal for New Jersey, which got 41 saves from Martin Brodeur.

"He made a lot of great saves and kept us in the game," Zajac said of Brodeur. "He was the main reason we were still in the game."

The 37-year-old Brodeur has started each of New Jersey's first three games and the Devils may find it unwise to rest him tonight. Brodeur is 32-12-0 with seven ties in his career versus the Panthers, posting an outstanding 1.98 goals against average.

Vokoun is 5-4-1 with a 2.47 GAA in his career versus the Devils, who wrap a three-game road trip in Washington on Monday.

The Devils won three of four versus the Panthers last year, splitting the two matchups in Florida.

10/10 10:34:03 ET

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