After a scoreless first period which saw the Panthers outshoot the Devils by an 11-to-5 count, New Jersey got on the board first. Jordin Tootoo sliced a one-timer past Al Montoya's right side at the 1:50 mark, scoring his 10th marker of the campaign with assists from Travis Zajac and Eric Gelinas.
The Panthers went Boyes-to-Jokinen-to-Bolland to open up the Panthers half of the scoreboard at the 11:08 mark of the second period, with a nifty tic-tac-toe which caught Corey Schneider out of position for a 1-1 tie. It was Bolland's sixth goal of the season, and Jokinen's team-second best 36th assist (Jonathan Huberdeau has 39).
Eight minutes into the third period, the Panthers took the lead when Aleksander Barkov hit Jaromir Jagr off of an offensive-zone faceoff. Jagr hit Huberdeau in stride, who easily beat Schneider for his 15th marker of the season. It was Jagr's 30th helper of the season, and his 1,080th overall which moved him past Adam Oates into sixth place all-time.
The Devils evened the score three minutes later on a Damon Severson tally, his fifth of the season with assists from Mike Cammalleri and Peter Harrold, but it wouldn't last long. The Panthers earned a five-minute power play when Steve Bernier kneed Steven Kampfer, then Jagr lit the lamp for the 17th time this season, with assists from defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Dmitry Kulikov.
With Florida up, 3-2, the five-minute major power play continued for three more minutes, then the Panthers finished off the Devils and closed shop with a 38-29-15 record and 91 points. Their point total was their fifth highest total ever, just one point shy of their 1996 Eastern Conference Champion season.
Stay tuned in the AM for Todd's morning recap. Keep checking LBC throughout the offseason for Panthers' news, playoff coverage, some ideas about the draft, and finally more hockey in October.