NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 23rd
(All times eastern)
Florida Panthers (21-20-5) at New Jersey Devils (15-29-3), 3 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils have been on a roll the past two
weeks, with a loss to the Florida Panthers the only blemish over their last
The Devils hope to avenge that defeat and stretch their season-best win streak
to four straight games this afternoon as they host the Panthers at the
Though still last in the Eastern Conference with 33 points -- 22 out of a
playoff spot -- the Devils are 5-0-1 over their last six games and have won
three straight for the first time this season. They knocked off the
conference's top team on Saturday, posting a 3-1 victory in Philadelphia.
Patrik Elias scored twice, Henrik Tallinder also had a goal and Johan Hedberg
made 26 saves for the Devils, who also own wins over the Lightning, Islanders
and Penguins during their run.
"Every game we play now it feels as though we're taking steps in the right
direction and the record shows it, with five wins out of our last six,"
Hedberg said. "We have to keep plugging away, but we are certainly playing
New Jersey defenseman Colin White left Saturday's game with a lower-body
The Devils will turn back to veteran Martin Brodeur today as they go for their
longest winning streak since a five-game run from Dec. 12-21, 2009. Brodeur is
8-2-0 over his last 10 starts at home versus the Panthers with three shutouts
and a 1.60 goals-against average, but took the loss in Florida on Jan. 15,
yielding Dmitry Kulikov's game-winning goal 3:36 into overtime.
That victory was Florida's second straight and third in four games versus the
Devils, but the club has lost nine of its last 11 in New Jersey.
The Panthers hit the road after a 3-0-3 homestand. They won the first three
contests of the residency before dropping a pair of shootouts around an
overtime loss. Friday's meeting with the Lightning went to a shootout, but
Florida came up empty on its three chances while Tampa Bay's Dominic Moore
scored the only goal of the tiebreaker in the third round.
Moore's goal had to be reviewed to see if he put it on a rebound after Florida
netminder Tomas Vokoun's initial stop. Vokoun ended with 20 saves.
"You got to tip your cap to their goaltender, he made some big saves. Our guy
made some big saves. We had the better chances," said Florida head coach Peter
Cory Stillman scored just 50 seconds into the game for the Panthers, who went
0-for-7 on the power play and saw five games on their homestand go past
regulation. They also played in their seventh straight one-goal contest,
matching a club record set in 2001-02.
Kulikov missed the game due to a rib injury suffered on Wednesday night and
may not play tonight either.
Florida, which is eight points back of a playoff spot, begins a season-long
six-game road trip tonight and could go with former Devil Scott Clemmensen in
net seeing as he is a perfect 3-0-0 with a 1.96 GAA versus his old club. He
stopped 33 shots in last weekend's win.
Vokoun is 5-6-1 with a 2.40 GAA versus New Jersey.
01/23 10:30:05 ET