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Devils 5, Panthers 1 @NHL

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - As soon as the New Jersey Devils scored their first goal, Florida goaltender Roberto Luongo knew the Panthers were in trouble.

Colin White, Grant Marshall and Brian Gionta scored in a span of 1:33 in the first period for New Jersey, giving the Devils a 5-1 victory Wednesday night and sending the Panthers to their 12th straight loss.

"They get a goal and it seems as though we get away from our game," Luongo said. "We put our heads down or something. I've never went 12 games without winning. That's new for a lot of guys."

Alexander Mogilny and Scott Gomez each added goals in the second period, and Martin Brodeur made 24 saves and improved to 30-8-7 against the Panthers in his career.

Luongo allowed five goals on 19 shots before being pulled for Jamie McLennan at 15:30 of the second. McLennan made 16 saves. Sean Hill scored in the second for Florida, his first goal of the season.

"We were getting our shots through and getting guys to the net," Brodeur said. "We played a team that was desperate to win and we did the right things to discourage them by taking the puck to them and getting to Luongo early."

Florida is 0-8-4 since its last win at Pittsburgh on Oct. 25 and is one defeat from tying the team record for consecutive losses set from Feb. 7 to March 23, 1998.

Referee Don Van Massenhoven left in the third period after he was hit in the face by a puck. The remaining 17 minutes were played with only three officials. He was helped off the ice with a towel covering his face. There was no further word on his condition.

Mogilny took a pass from Vladimir Malakhov and redirected it past Luongo to make the score 4-0 at 2:23 of the second. Gomez made it 5-0 at 4:40.

"It's a big win for us," Gomez said. "It's good to see all of the lines contributing to the goals."

White's goal, his first of the season, came from the top of the right circle. His shot bounced off the post and into the net at 16:53. Marshall picked up a loose puck and beat Luongo under the glove just 26 seconds later to make the score 2-0. Gionta poked in the puck from in front at 18:26.

"Once we got up early on them with those three goals, we just stuck with what we were doing," said Gionta, who leads the team with 14 goals.

"That's as good as we've moved the puck in a long time," Devils coach Larry Robinson said. "We had a lot of good things happen and I liked how we played physical."

Notes: Brodeur hasn't lost on the road to the Panthers since April 9, 1997. ... Panthers C Joe Nieuwendyk returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with a back injury.

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