On a night tailor-made for a longstanding record to fall, the Florida Panthers slammed the door on any such thoughts for a home crowd thirsty to get the hype behind behind them.
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur was denied his 104th shutout on defenseman Jordan Leopold's fourth of the year with a beautiful read, blasting the puck past an astonished New Jersey club at 3:53 of the first period. For all the times Florida keeps fans guessing, tonight was a happy exception.
Shots ended up 28 to 22 in the Devils' favor, but Michael Frolik's two goals - the second a spectacular one-on-none against Brodeur - proved to be the difference. The guy was determined and displaying the effort we've seen repeatedly but seldom witnessed a payoff. Frolik also led the Panthers with seven shots on goal.
Scott Clemmensen was imperfect but more than solid in net for the Cats; it was quite obvious where his heart resided on this night, downing a club which many claimed slighted him late in 2009.