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New Jersey at Florida

Sutter earns first win as Devils coach with defeat of Panthers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SUNRISE, Fla. -- Brent Sutter didn't want to make a big deal out of his first NHL coaching victory. However, there was no downplaying the performance of Devils backup goalie Kevin Weekes.

"I don't get caught up in that as far as myself," Sutter said of his first victory. "The main thing is I want these players to have success."

Weekes had 20 of his 32 saves in the first period before New Jersey pulled away for a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

"Weekesy played great and obviously gave us a chance," Sutter said. "I thought the second and third periods we played very well."

Weekes was playing for the first time since last January, when he was with the New York Rangers.

"It has been a long time," Weekes said. "But at the same time I'm thankful for every day. Be thankful for your health, and you work hard and hopefully good things will happen."

John Madden scored twice for the Devils, who opened the season with a 3-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday night. Andy Greene and Mike Mottau also scored for New Jersey.

"It feels good," Madden said. "It usually takes me a lot longer than that to get going."

Against the Panthers, it took the entire New Jersey team a while to get going. Sutter's message to his players during the first intermission also helped.

"He just told us we looked like little kids out there playing with men," Madden said, "and he told us to get our act in gear if we were going to salvage the game."

Cory Murphy scored in the first period for Florida, which had won its last three home openers. Tomas Vokoun, acquired from Nashville in the offseason, finished with 20 saves but had a second consecutive shaky outing.

Vokoun gave up five goals on 24 shots in Thursday night's 5-2 loss to the Rangers in the opener before allowing four goals against the Devils.

"He hasn't done the job, that's the bottom line," Florida coach Jacques Martin said. "But it's a long season and I think he's going to have a lot of games."

With the teams tied 1-1 in the second period, Madden gave New Jersey the lead with a power-play goal. Vokoun went behind the net to play the puck, but David Clarkson poked it away from him. Madden grabbed the puck and his pass to the front of the net went in off the skate of Panthers defenseman Branislav Mezei.

Green added to the lead at 17:44 with another power-play goal. After Patrick Elias' slap shot went wide and bounced off the board, Green grabbed the rebound and fired a shot that went in off Vokoun.

"I played a long time and these things happen," Vokoun said. "Sometimes things aren't going to go your way. That's what you're judged on. Everything's not going to be a smooth ride, or going to be easy."

Madden opened the scoring 1:02 into the game when he redirected Arron Asham's pass on a 2-on-1.

Murphy tied the score at 9:13 with Florida on a two-man advantage when he one-timed Rostislav Olesz's cross-ice pass. It was the first NHL goal for Murphy, a 29-year-old rookie who spent the last six seasons in Europe.

"It's exciting," Murphy said. "It's a 29-year-old rookie. It would have been nicer to get the win, but I'll look back on it someday."

Mottau scored the only goal of the third period when his wrist shot from the point beat Vokoun through a screen.

The Devils are opening the season with nine consecutive road games while construction wraps up on their new arena in Newark. New Jersey is back at Florida on Thursday.

Notes

  • NHL commissioner Gary Bettman attended the game.
  • Florida D Mike Van Ryn was a healthy scratch.
  • Florida LW Richard Zednik missed his second consecutive game with a shoulder injury.
  • New Jersey RW Mike Rupp left the ice in the second period after colliding with Panthers D Ruslan Salei but returned in the third.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Brent Sutter applauds his team's effort for getting him his first NHL coaching victory. (AP)
Brent Sutter applauds his team's effort for getting him his first NHL coaching victory. (AP)

Scoreboard
New Jersey  (1-1-0) «1214
Florida (0-2-0)1001
Three Stars
K. Weekes
NJ


Saves: 32
Save Pct.: .970
J. Madden
NJ


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
C. Murphy
FLA


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:02John Madden (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Arron Asham, Jay Pandolfo
09:13Power Play - Cory Murphy (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stephen Weiss, Olli Jokinen
2ND PERIOD
03:32Power Play - John Madden (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: David Clarkson
17:44Power Play - Andy Greene (1), Tip-In. Assist: Patrik Elias
3RD PERIOD
12:36Mike Mottau (1), Snap Shot. Assist: Zach Parise
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
06:24Mezei, 2 min, Hooking
07:58Martin, 2 min, Interference
09:01Oduya, 2 min, Holding
14:48Greene, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
02:02Dvorak, 2 min, Delay of Game
06:24Weiss, 2 min, Slashing
09:39Pandolfo, 2 min, Tripping
11:52McLean, 2 min, Hooking
17:28Globke, 2 min, Too Many Men on the Ice(bench)
3RD PERIOD
13:14Rachunek, 2 min, Interference
15:52Asham, 5 min, Fighting
15:52Horton, 5 min, Fighting
17:38Allen, 2 min, Slashing
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
New Jersey912324
Florida215733
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Kevin Weekes59:59321
Tomas Vokoun58:34204
Game Information
Attendance - 19250
Referees - Gord Dwyer, Mike Hasenfratz
Linesmen - Mark Pare, Pierre Racicot
 
Other Games
NYR 0 Final
Ott 2
Buf 2 Final
NYI 3
Bos 3 Final
Pho 1
Dal 1 Final
Nash 5
Van 4 Final
OT
Cal 3
Car 0 Final
Wash 2
Colu 2 Final
Min 3
StL 5 Final
LA 3
Det 3 Final
Chi 4
Phi 3 Final
Edm 5
Mon 3 Final
OT
Tor 4
Atl 2 Final
TB 5
Ana 4 Final
Pitt 5