The New Jersey Devils got goals from four different players and 34 saves from netminder Cory Schneider to end the Florida Panthers winning streak at five games.The win moved the Devils past the Panthers and back into one of the two Eastern Conference wildcard spots. Florida finished its five-game road trip with an impressive 4-1 record.
Lee Stempniak set the tone early, scoring just 26 seconds after the opening face-off. After taking a pass from Adam Henrique behind the net, Mike Cammalleri found Stempniak all alone in front of Roberto Luongo and the veteran winger deposited a backhand into the net.
The Devils added to their lead at the 12:55 mark when Kyle Palmieri roofed a shot from a wide angle on Luongo after taking a slick bounce pass off the boards from defenseman Damon Severson.
The Panthers would halve the deficit with a goal 45 seconds into the middle frame. Aleksander Barkov won an offensive draw to Jaromir Jagr and he dropped it back to Aaron Ekblad at point. Ekblad's slap shot ricocheted off Schneider's glove before crossing the goal line.
New Jersey struck back 1:58 later to restore its two-goal advantage. After Luongo made a stop on a big blast from Adam Larsson, Henrique gathered up the rebound skate-to-stick in the slot and quickly circled the net and stuffed in a wraparound shot before the Cats' keeper could seal off the post.
Florida would pull back within one at 13:07 of the second. Jonathan Huberdeau got the goal, beating Schneider top shelf to cap off the hard work of Jagr and Ekblad in the corner.
Huberdeau would get a golden opportunity to tie the game late in the stanza after being pulled down by Larsson on a breakaway, but Schneider came up big with a skate save on the ensuing penalty shot.
Less than a minute after the Devils goaltender came up with stops on Brandon Pirri and Reilly Smith, Cammalleri delivered the only goal of the third period at 6:44 to complete the scoring. Severson and Henrique would each get their second assist of the night by combining on a nifty passing play to set up Cammalleri's 11th of the season.
Not the best of nights for Luongo, who finished with 14 stops, or the Cats defense, which despite allowing just 18 shots gave the Devils way too much open space to work with on their goals. You had to figure after giving up just one goal in four straight road games something was going to give and it did. Picking up eight of a possible ten points on the five-game trip is the key statistic that needs to taken into consideration this morning as the Cats return home to face Ottawa Tuesday night and Washington on Thursday. Florida's torrid run has put them right back in the thick of things. Now it's time to work some of that road magic at BB&T Center.
Fire & Brimstone
- The trio of Adam Henrique, Mike Cammalleri and Damon Severson totaled seven points (2G/5A) and went a combined +9 in the game. Defenseman John Moore also posted a +3 rating.
- Aleksander Barkov registered an assist and was absolutely dominate in the face-off dot, winning 19-of-22, but his second period whiff in front, minutes before the Huberdeau goal, was a huge missed opportunity for the Cats.
- Speaking of draws, Dave Bolland won 9-of-12 and Derek MacKenzie went 7-of-10. The only Panther center in the negative was Vincent Trocheck, who was 5-of-12. Trocheck had a rough night, finishing with a -3 rating, no shots on goal and getting his ice time cut to 13:06.
- Jaromir Jagr became the first Panther to hit the 20-point mark this season, Jagr has 8 goals and 12 assists in 25 games.
- After exorcising road demons in St. Louis, Nashville and Columbus, Florida's struggles in the Garden State continued. The Cats have now lost six straight games to the Devils in New Jersey,
- Defenseman Aaron Ekblad registered a game-high seven shots on goal and picked up his second multi-point game of the season.
- war-on-ice has the advanced stats breakdown for here you here.
- Today, it's not all about that bass, it's All About The Jersey. You can turn to the dark side from more on the Devils' streak buster.
Highlights (courtesy of NHL.com)