The Panthers, perhaps not used to taking the ice so early in the day, allowed a goal less than two minutes into the period. The Devils’ Steve Bernier scored his first NHL goal since a year ago today when playing for the Panthers by slipping the puck through Scott Clemmensen’s pads from about 10 feet out. Alexei Ponikarovsky and Dainus Zubrus earned the helpers on the play.
New Jersey was visibly more active than the Panthers, keeping the puck down in the Cat’s end for most of the first six minutes of the game, and taking the first eight shots of the contest. Keaton Ellerby would eventually take the first shot for Florida with 12 minutes remaining.
Florida wouldn’t get a second shot on goal until there were less than seven minutes left in the period. Mikael Samuelsson had a wide open look at Brodeur, but Martin turned the slapshot aside.
The Panthers were awarded the first man advantage of the evening at the 15-minute mark when Dainus Zubrus was called for hooking Brian Campbell. 16-seconds later, the Panthers pulled even when Sean Bergenheim redirected an Erik Gudbranson slapshot from the blue line for his 11th goal of the season. Marcel Goc also collected an assist on the play.
Hits: Devils, 9-3
Blocked Shots: Devils, 4-3
Faceoffs: Devils, 12-9
Shots on Goal: Devils, 12-7
Score: Devils 1, Panthers 1