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Panthers Take A 3-0 Lead Into Final Period Over Devils

The period opened with the Panthers on a two man advantage for 1:43. The Cats won the opening faceoff, and got the puck into the New Jersey zone immediately. After cycling the puck for a while, Jason Garrison got a good looking one timer, right into Brodeur’s chest. Garrison got another shot a moment later which Brodeur again saved, but Weiss picked up the rebound and stuck it home for his second goal of the night. Garrison and Marcel Goc would be credited with the assists on the play.

The Devils would get a chance with a man advantage at the two minute mark when Mikael Samuelsson hooked Zach Parise. The Panthers were again up to the task allowing only one shot on goal. Tomas Kopecky got a good looking shorthanded opportunity with a breakaway against Brodeur.

The Panthers would go back on the power play when Ryan Carter hooked Mike Weaver. This time, the Devils record setting penalty kill was effective.

Kovalchuk found Parise across the ice right in front of Theodore at the 11 minute mark for what should have been a slam dunk goal, but Theo made a terrific sliding stick save to preserve the shutout.

The Panthers went up 3-0 with five minutes remaining in the period when Marcel Goc put home a Garrison rebound between Brodeur’s pads. Brian Campbell and Sean Bergenheim earned assists on the play.

Hits: Devils 38-36 (Steve Bernier and Bryce Salvador have five each for New Jersey, while Erik Gudbranson, Ed Jovanovski leads the Panthers with six).

Blocked Shots: Devils 10-7 (Steve Bernier, Marek Zidlicky, and Anton Volchenkov, Ed Jovanovski and Shawn Matthias each have two apiece).

Faceoffs: Panthers 19-13 (Marcel Goc has won 7-of-10 to lead Florida, Travis Zajac is 8-of-11 for the Devils).

Shots on Goal: Panthers 14-12 (Zach Parise leads all skaters with three, several Panthers have two).

Score: Panthers 3, Devils 0

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Panthers' playoff push, visit Litter Box Cats. For the opponent's perspective throughout the series, head over to In Lou We Trust. For all your hockey news and notes and more on each playoff series, keep up with SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.