Florida Panthers Visit New Jersey Devils: Game 54 Preview

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 06: Tomas Fleischmann #14 of the Florida Panthers skates against the New Jersey Devils during their game on January 6, 2012 at The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Florida looks to open a two game winning streak today in the first game of back-to-back matinees. They face the New Jersey Devils at 1:00 at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Florida will be visiting the New Jersey Devils tonight in Sunrise at the Prudential Center in Newark. This is the fourth and final meeting this season between the two teams, with the Devils winning the last in New Jersey, 5-2 on December 1st. Florida has an 11-12-4 road record, while the Devils are 15-9-3 at home. Florida is in the first game of a two game road trip. They will face the New York Islanders on Sunday before returning home to play the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday. New Jersey is finishing a short homestand. they dropped a 4-3 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

The New Jersey Devils shut down the Panthers, 5-2 on January 6th. Adam Henrique scored his 11th goal in the first, Patrik Elias scored his 14th in the second, and Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice in the third for the Devils. Mikael Samuelsson and Krys Barch scored goals for Florida. Jacob Markstrom took the loss, allowing three goals on 23 shots. Johan Hedberg stopped 19 of 21 Florida shots in the victory. The Panthers entered the third period tied at two apiece, but the Devils pulled away in the third period. Kevin Dineen spoke to the media about the Panthers' efforts, according to NHL.COM,

"We had an answer for them when they scored the first couple of times. I liked the play of some of our players, but it was not a complete game for us. ... It was a tough road game for us, but for the most part, the effort was there."

Panthers @ Devils 01/06/12 (via NHLVideo)

Florida topped the Los Angeles Kings, 3-1 on Thursday night at home in Sunrise. Sean Bergenheim and Mike Santorelli each lit the lamp in the second period, and Scott Clemmensen had a shutout through 57:32, stopping 18 shots before allowing Drew Doughty a goal to spoil his bid. Matt Bradley scored an empty-netter to ice the game. Jonathan Quick allowed two goals on only nine shots through the first two periods for the loss. Dineen again spoke to the media after the game, according to NHL.COM,

"We knew we were going to need a game that had a level of patience. That's a word I kept going back to. Don't get frustrated. Patience was a real key for us tonight. That's a hard
team to generate offense against. There's not a lot of loose in their game, so you need to go out there and stay with it and we found a way to score goals."

Kings @ Panthers 02/09/12 (via NHLVideo)

The Devils lost on Thursday to the St. Louis Blues in a shootout, 4-3. Zach Parise, Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias each scored for the Devils, while David Perron, Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund earned the Blues regulation goals. TJ Oshie netted the game winner in the first round of the shootout. Johan Hedberg allowed three goals on 23 shots, plus the shootout goal in the loss. Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott stopped 18 of 20 shots for the win.

Blues @ Devils 02/09/12 (via NHLVideo)

Season Series: 1-1-1

All-Time Series: 24-39-13

Game Time: 1:00 ET

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Standings:

Florida Panthers: 25-17-11, 61 points, first Southeast Division, third Eastern Conference, 15th NHL, on pace for 94 points. Last five: W-W-L-L-W

New Jersey Devils: 31-19-4, 66 points, third Atlantic Division, fifth Eastern Conference, eighth NHL, on pace for 100 points. Last five: W-W-W-W-O

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