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2011-12 regular season vs. Florida

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils
With the Devils set to face the Florida Panthers in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, take a look back at the four regular-season meetings between the two clubs.

Mon., Nov. 21; New Jersey 3 at Florida 4

The Devils faced the Panthers for the first time this season, completing their season-high five-game roadtrip at 3-2-0. New Jersey led 3-0 after the first period and 3-2 after two. The decision gave the club its first loss of the season when leading entering the third (4-1-0). Florida outshot New Jersey 26-12 over the final two periods and 36-25 overall.

The Devils took their 3-0 lead on goals by Ilya Kovalchuk (4), Petr Sykora (4) and Dainius Zubrus (6). Zubrus’ goal was his second in as many games and gave him 3g-5a-8pts in his last eight. Andy Greene posted two assists for his second multiple-point game of the season, while Henrik Tallinder appeared in his 100th game with New Jersey. Martin Brodeur (32 saves) took the loss in goal.

Tue., Dec. 13; New Jersey 3 at Florida 2 (SO)

The Devils faced the Panthers for the second time, improving to 1-1-0 in the season series. The contest gave the club two straight victories, as well as wins on consecutive dates for the first time this season. New Jersey outshot Florida 34-26 overall, despite being held shotless in the overtime session.

With the Devils trailing 2-0, Patrik Elias’ (10) second-period goal and Zach Parise’s (10) third-period score knotted the game. Ilya Kovalchuk assisted on both goals for his fourth multiple-point game, while picking up his fourth game-determining tally of the season. Kurtis Foster made his New Jersey debut.

Martin Brodeur (24 saves + 2/2 SO) picked up the win in his 1,149th career contest. His games-played total is the most in team history under New Jersey President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello (K. Daneyko, 1,148).

Fri., Jan. 6; Florida 2 at New Jersey 5

The Devils faced the Panthers for the third time in 2011-12 and took a 2-1 lead in the season series. The win snapped New Jersey's two-game losing streak and was its first of 2012. Overall, the team improved to 10-4-1=21pts in its last 15 contests. New Jersey outshot Florida 29-24.

Adam Henrique opened the scoring at 3:53 of the first period, his 11th of the year. With the game tied at 1-1, Patrik Elias, appearing in his 1,000th NHL game, registered his 14th of the season just 0:36 into the second period.

Florida tied the game once again 2:10 later, and it remained even until 11:40 of the third when Ilya Kovalchuk netted the game-winner. Kovalchuk added a shorthanded, empty-net tally with 1:00 remaining in regulation and Zach Parise also potted an empty-netter to round out the scoring.

Elias recorded two assists, while Parise and Henrique each picked up 1a for multi-point games.
Johan Hedberg (22 saves) picked up the win in goal.

Sat., Feb. 11; Florida 3 at New Jersey 1

The Devils faced the Panthers for the fourth time, closing out the season’s series 2-2-0, including one shootout win. The decision gave the club an 0-1-1 mark to close-out its mini two-game homestand. New Jersey outshot Florida 28-20 overall.

Steve Bernier notched the game’s first goal, while Alexei Ponikarovsky and Dainius Zubrus picked up the assists. Bernier’s tally was his first as a Devil, and first in the NHL since Feb. 10, 2011.

Petr Sykora appeared in his 500th game with New Jersey, the 22nd player to do so. At 16 years and 106 days since making his NHL debut Oct. 28, 1995, it marks the longest stretch to reach the plateau in franchise history (B. Rolston, 15y & 292d).  Martin Brodeur (17 saves + ENG) was in goal.

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