Devils attempt to even up series with Panthers
Wednesday, 04.18.2012 / 9:40 AMPANTHERS at DEVILS
(Florida leads best-of-seven series, 2-1)
TV: NHLN-US, TSN, RDSI, FS-F (HD), MSG PLUS (HD)
In one of the most bizarre finishes in a playoff game this season, the Devils opened a 3-0 lead only to suffer a 4-3 setback as the Panthers scored four unanswered goals in Game 3 on Tuesday at Prudential Center. Both starting goalies were yanked from the game. Florida's Jose Theodore
was pulled 6:16 into the first after allowing three goals on six shots. New Jersey's Martin Brodeur
got the hook 2:18 into the second when he allowed his third goal on 12 shots. Brian Campbell
's first goal this postseason snapped a 3-3 tie 6:34 into the second for the Panthers, who finished 3-for-3 on the power play.
It remains to be seen whether or not Theodore or Scott Clemmensen
will start Game 4 for the Panthers on Thursday. Theodore was pulled after allowing three quick goals on Tuesday, opening the door for Clemmensen, who earned the second star of the game after stopping all 19 shots he faced. Clemmensen, who spent a good part of his career backing up Brodeur in New Jersey, is now 5-0 career against the Devils.
Does Clemmensen feel he will get the nod for Game 4?
"I don't know, I'm not expecting to start," he said. "I think that both of us have the qualifications to start the next game. I'm not going to anticipate anything. I'm just going to be ready if it is me."
It's back to the drawing board for coach Pete DeBoer, whose team cannot seem to stay out of the penalty box and, as a result, is losing this series. The Devils had all the momentum in the opening six minutes of the game, getting goals from Zach Parise
, Stephen Gionta
and Patrik Elias
. At that point, New Jersey was outshooting Florida, 6-1. That's when the visitors began clawing their way back, scoring twice while outshooting the Devils, 9-1, over the final 13:44 to ultimately pull within 3-2 and trigger the comeback. DeBoer did say after the game that Brodeur would start Game 4 despite being pulled in the second.
Florida's Sean Bergenheim
had a goal and an assist on Tuesday and now has at least a point in each of the first three games. He has 11 goals and 15 points in 19 postseason games.
For the Panthers, forwards Matt Bradley
(concussion), who has begun skating again, and Jack Skille
(shoulder) are out. … Defenseman Henrik Tallinder
(blood clot) and center Jacob Josefson
(wrist) are out for the Devils.
Not only did Florida establish a franchise record for the largest comeback in playoff history, but the three power-play goals in Game 3 also set a franchise record. The Panthers have scored six power-play goals in 10 chances in three games against the Devils, who possessed the League's top penalty-killing unit during the regular season.
All three games in the series have started with one team taking a 3-0 lead. Florida, however, was the first to go down by three and rally for a victory on Tuesday in Game 3. In Game 1, New Jersey opened a 3-0 lead and hung on for a 3-2 win. In Game 2, the Panthers surged to a 3-0 advantage before earning a 4-2 triumph.