Florida at New Jersey

Devils use early power plays to skate past Panthers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The power play finally came alive for the New Jersey Devils.

Patrik Elias and Zach Parise scored man-advantage goals in the first period to spark the Devils to a 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

Sergei Brylin and Jamie Langenbrunner also scored to help the Devils break out of a collective scoring slump.

The struggling power play keyed the outburst. After going 2-for-29 with the man advantage in the previous five games, the Devils went 3-for-7 against the Panthers.

"It was just finding the way in," Elias said. "We were shooting the puck and we were in good position for the rebounds. That's the way it goes sometimes. We were getting the wins and that's the important thing. Tonight the power play helped us."

Martin Brodeur made 18 saves for the Devils, winners of four straight and six of the last seven.

"The goals are nice," Langenbrunner said. "We worry about playing our game and the goals will come or they don't come. The power play had been struggling pretty bad. The goals might help us loosen up the grip on our sticks a little bit."

Stephen Weiss and Chris Gratton scored for the Panthers who dropped their third in a row.

Elias, mired in a deep slump, opened the scoring at 5:36 by knocking in a rebound for his third goal. The Devils' captain had gone five games without a point and the tally was only his second in the last 14 games.

Parise gave the Devils a 2-0 lead at 17:02, taking a pass from John Madden and whipping the puck past Eddie Belfour.

In the second, Brylin scored on a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity to give the Devils a 3-0 lead at 1:27.

Florida's Weiss countered with a score at 6:46 before Langenbrunner closed out the scoring in the period at 11:50.

In the third, Gratton roofed a hard shot from the left circle under the crossbar at 8:02 to trim the New Jersey advantage to 4-2.

Panthers general manager and coach Jacques Martin pointed to the penalties that led to Devils goals as his teams downfall.

"Their three goals on the power play was the difference in the hockey game," Martin said. "The bottom line was too many penalties."


  • Gratton returned to the Panthers after missing Friday's 5-4 overtime loss in Buffalo for the birth of his second child.
  • The Devils extended their home winning streak over the Panthers to five.
  • The Devils made shorter work of the Panthers after shootout victories in their last two.
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New Jersey's Sergei Brylin contributes a goal and an assist to help beat Florida.  (Getty Images)
New Jersey's Sergei Brylin contributes a goal and an assist to help beat Florida. (Getty Images)
Florida (6-8-4)0112
New Jersey  (10-5-1) «2204
Three Stars
S. Brylin

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Z. Parise

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
P. Elias

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
05:36Power Play - Patrik Elias (3), Wrist Shot - Assists: Sergei Brylin, Paul Martin
17:02Power Play - Zach Parise (7), Wrist Shot - Assists: John Madden, Johnny Oduya
01:27Power Play - Sergei Brylin (3), Tip-In - Assists: Brian Rafalski, Patrik Elias
06:46Power Play - Stephen Weiss (4), Tip-In - Assist: Gary Roberts
11:50Jamie Langenbrunner (4), Tip-In - Assists: Jim Dowd, Jay Pandolfo
08:02Chris Gratton (4), Slap Shot - Assist: Ruslan Salei
Penalty Summary
05:07Mezei: Hooking - 2 min.
15:19Mezei: Hooking - 2 min.
14:59Allen: Tripping - 2 min.
01:12Horton: Interference - 2 min.
01:20Kolnik: Throwing Stick - 2 min.
04:54Montador: Fighting - 5 min.
04:54Montador: Instigator - 2 min.
04:54Montador: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
04:54Janssen: Fighting - 5 min.
04:54Janssen: Charging - 2 min.
05:37Horton: Roughing - 2 min.
05:37Rupp: Roughing - 2 min.
06:18Oduya: Delaying Game - 2 min.
08:45Gratton: Elbowing - 2 min.
12:55Campbell: Fighting - 5 min.
12:55Rupp: Fighting - 5 min.
13:13Van Ryn: Hooking - 2 min.
16:49Rasmussen: High sticking - 2 min.
18:22Lukowich: Interference - 2 min.
New Jersey116724
Ed Belfour59:19204
Martin Brodeur59:58182
Attendance - 14112
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Stephane Auger, Eric Furlatt
Line Judges - Jean Morin, Derek Nansen
Other Games
Ott 3 Final
Bos 4
NYR 1 Final
Wash 3
Pitt 2 Final
Car 6
Buf 5 Final
Phi 4
Mon 1 Final
Tor 5
Atl 3 Final
TB 5
Colo 0 Final
Nash 1
SJ 2 Final
Pho 1
Cal 3 Final
Van 2
Min 3 Final
LA 2