The New Jersey Devils responded in the big way on Thursday night, evening their first round series with the Florida Panthers at 2-2. The Devils turned it on over the final half of Game 4 to defeat the Cats, 4-0. New Jersey squandered a three-goal lead in Game 3, and went looking for answers after Martin Brodeur was pulled in the second period of a tie game. But the Hall-of-Fame goaltender bounced back just fine, stopping all 25 shots on goal and clinching his 24th career playoff shutout. He surpassed Patrick Roy for the playoff record with the shutout.
Taking a 1-0 lead into the third period, the Devils quickly slammed the door and extended their lead. New Jersey scored two goals in the first four minutes of the third period, and Florida would never threaten after that. Steve Bernier scored his first goal of the playoffs two minutes in, taking a feed from Stephen Gionta and beating Scott Clemmensen for the 2-0 lead. Just a minute and a half later, Travis Zajac added another against Clemmensen. Ilya Kovalchuk would close the book on the scoring, with his second of the series. Peter Harrold sent a beautiful cross-ice pass right through the defense to Kovalchuk who fired a high shot over the glove of Clemmensen.
The series now moves back to South Florida, where the Panthers will look to take a pivotal Game 5 on Saturday evening in Sunrise.