Florida started out skating hard, and put a few quality shots on net in the first minute. Martin Brodeur was up to the task, however, and turned away every shot. The Cats strung together overlapping power plays, including a 5-on-3 for a full minute, but could not muster any goals during the effort.
Soon after the power play expired, the Devils scored three goals in 3:32, putting the Panthers in an unfamiliar early hole. Ilya Kovalchuk, Petr Sykora and Dainius Zubrus each scored for New Jersey, with one assist each for Henrik Tallinder, Adam Larsson and Patrik Elias and two assists for Andy Greene.
With the Cats on their heels, Brodeur was able to hold the stunned Panthers scoreless in ten shots on goal.