Tag: Devils-Panthers 2012


Discuss: Devils down Panthers, tie series 2-2


It’s starting to feel like the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils might be in for an unlikely seven game showdown in the first round. Game 4 may just rank as the first time that things went as expected, though: the Devils took a 1-0 lead into the third period and then bolstered it to a 4-0 win to tie the series at 2-2.

As always, you’re welcome to develop your own stump speeches, but here are a few bullet points to whet your whistle.

  • Martin Brodeur might not be in his prime anymore, but he still seems like a great bounce-back goalie. After getting pulled in Game 3, Brody set a new playoff record with his 24th shutout.
  • While the Devils can feel better about their netminding situation, the Panthers must feel unsettled. Scott Clemmensen unraveled a bit in the third. Should Florida switch back to Jose Theodore or stick with Clemmensen?
  • Is this a sign that the Devils are ready to assert their seemingly considerable talent/on-paper edge on the Panthers or is this series likely to be a seesaw matchup? Who do you think will take it?
  • The Panthers played without late-scratch Jason Garrison and Keaton Ellerby was injured during the contest. Could depth be an issue for Florida?
  • New Jersey stars Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise scored. If they get going, could the Devils regain their dark horse potential?

Discuss: Devils hang on against Panthers


At first, it looked like the New Jersey Devils would make the Florida Panthers look as bad as many expected. The Devils generated a three-goal lead in the first period while they piled up a ridiculous 26-9 shot advantage in just 20 minutes of play. Things evened out quite a bit through the rest of the game but the Devils still won 3-2 to take a 1-0 series lead.

Let’s get the discussion started.

  • Martin Brodeur won his 100th playoff game (more on that soon). How many more does he have in him – both in this year’s playoffs and the rest of his career?
  • Is there any concern that the Devils might get a little overconfident after a win like this – especially in front of a relatively friendly crowd?
  • It’s pretty tough to pin any of this on Jose Theodore, yet Scott Clemmensen has had his old team’s number. How long will it take for people to plead with Kevin Dineen to make a goaltending change?
  • For quite some time, the Devils seemed like a top-heavy team. They’ve developed some complimentary scoring this season, though, so it begs the question: how strong of a dark horse candidate can New Jersey be?
  • Feel free to make a pro-Florida argument. This series is far from over, but some are likely already writing them off.

Series at a glance: Florida-New Jersey playoff preview

Tomas Kopecky, Anton Volchenkov


All times are Eastern.

* – if necessary

Friday April 13 in Florida @ 7 p.m. (NHL Network, TSN)
Sunday April 15 in Florida @ 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, TSN)
Tuesday April 17 in New Jersey @ 7 p.m. (NHL Network, TSN)
Thursday April 19 in New Jersey @ 7 p.m. (NHL Network, TSN)
*Saturday April 21 in Florida @ 6:30 p.m. (NHL Network, TSN)
*Tuesday April 24 in New Jersey @ TBD (TBD)
*Thursday April 26 in Florida @ TBD (TBD)

Three storylines to follow

1. Goalie questions. Neither team can feel 100 percent comfortable in net. For better or worse, Martin Brodeur is essentially grandfathered into the New Jersey goal while the Panthers might be better off going with Brodeur’s former backup in Scott Clemmensen rather than Jose Theodore. Either way, the goaltending doesn’t look to be a beauty contest.

2. Jersey’s stars. The Devils have the star power category locked up but, aside from Patrik Elias, haven’t thrived in the big time. Ilya Kovalchuk’s single career playoff win — game, not series — is pretty well-publicized and Zach Parise’s future remains in question, so there are a lot of moving parts for a team that admittedly looks much better on paper.

3. House money? The Panthers head into the playoffs in a rare spot. They’re the third seed, yet almost certainly the underdogs. They’ve already done more than people expected by a) making the playoffs and b) winning the Southeast. Playing with house money and home ice advantage? Not too shabby.


Florida: 38-26-18, 94 points (1st in Southeast; 3rd in Eastern Confrence) | New Jersey: 48-28-6, 102 points (4th in Atlantic; 6th in Eastern Conference)

Leading scorers

Florida: Tomas Fleischmann (27G-31A-61PTS) | New Jersey: Ilya Kovalchuk (37G-46A-83PTS)

Starting goalies

Florida: Jose Theodore (22-16-11, 2.46 GAA) or Scott Clemmensen (14-6-6, 2.57 GAA) | New Jersey: Martin Brodeur (31-21-4, 2.41 GAA)


Season series tied at 2-2
Nov. 21: At Florida 4, New Jersey 3
Dec. 13: New Jersey 3, at Florida 2, SO
Jan. 6: At New Jersey 5, Florida 2
Feb. 11: Florida 3, at New Jersey 1

Last 10 games

Florida: 2-3-5 | New Jersey: 7-2-1

Playoff history

New Jersey leads 1-0 (4-0 in 2000 Eastern Conference quarterfinals)

2011 playoffs

Florida: Did not qualify | New Jersey: Did not qualify

Stanley Cups

Florida: None | New Jersey: 3 (1995, 2000, 2003)


Florida: Jack Skille (shoulder) and Matt Bradley (concussion).

New Jersey: David Clarkson (lower-body), Jacob Josefson (wrist) and Henrik Tallinder (leg).

Playoff matchups: Devils are likely favorites against Panthers

New Jersey Devils v Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers won their first-ever Southeast Division title tonight, earning themselves a surprise third seed. That will give the surprise upstart from Sunrise home ice advantage in the first round, but many will probably choose the sixth seed New Jersey Devils as the odds-on favorite. There are plenty of reasons to think that way, but here are a few:

  • The Devils carry virtually all of the biggest names in this series, from Martin Brodeur to Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise.
  • New Jersey finished this season with a +19 goal differential; Florida’s -24 is by far the worst of any playoff team (in fact, it’s fifth-worst in the East).
  • Sure, the Devils feasted on three-point games in their own right (12 shootout wins), but that’s nothing compared to Florida milking 18 charity points out of this season.

And that’s just the simplest stuff.

Still, the two teams tied their season series 2-2, so it’s not like New Jersey dominated Florida in 2011-12. Oh yeah, there’s also an interesting storyline for those who always want to find a juicy narrative: former Panthers coach Peter DeBoer sits behind the Devils bench. Surely he’d enjoy a little revenge on the team that didn’t give him a great chance to succeed, wouldn’t he?