SUNRISE, Fla. — The Florida Panthers recorded a 4-3 victory against New Jersey on Nov. 21, but they don’t want a repeat performance when the teams meet again Tuesday night.
Sure, the same outcome would work just fine for Coach Kevin Dineen and his troops – they just don’t want to fall behind 3-0 like they did in the teams’ first meeting.
“You know what, we started that game well, we played well the first seven-eight minutes and all of a sudden a wave of Devils talent really came at us,” Dineen said after the morning skate Tuesday. “That was one of those games that we really felt strongly that we could come back and that our team was confident and playing well. That was a real character-builder for our team.
“It was certainly one of the games that sticks out so far this year on the positive side. We don’t want to play that formula too often where you get down three and then have to scratch and claw to fight your way back. It certainly makes for a quality matchup moving into tonight’s game.”
The Panthers made history with that victory over the Devils. It was the first time ever they had rallied from a three-goal deficit to win in regulation.
Defenseman Brian Campbell knows that kind of comeback doesn’t happen often.
“We can’t get down 3-0, we know that,” he said. “That’s not going to happen again. This team we’re playing is a great team. We had mistakes early on, some turnovers that cost us, some lackadaisical play. We’ve got to be ready from the get-go tonight and we want to be the ones that are setting the tempo and pushing the pace.”
Martin Brodeur was in net for New Jersey on Nov. 21 and he’ll start again Tuesday night.
“We’ve got to play 60 minutes, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “We got off to a great start and we sat on it and they gained some confidence as the game went on and beat us in the third. That’s why we need to respect them — not that we didn’t respect them, they’re a good hockey team that can put the puck in the net, so you’ve got to play well.”
Brodeur, though, stopped short of calling this meeting a revenge game for the Devils.
“They’re not the Rangers or the Flyers, so it’s a little different,” he said. “But, again, we let go two points, so we’ll try to get them back tonight.”