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Devils-Panthers Preview @NHL
Devils-Panthers Preview

GAME: New Jersey Devils (9-9-2) at Florida Panthers (6-11-4).

TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.

The win column has evaded the Florida Panthers for nearly a month.

They'll look to end an 11-game losing streak when they host the New Jersey Devils at the BankAtlantic Center.

The Panthers haven't had much success against the Devils, who have struggled to adapt to the league's new rules while playing without five-time leading scorer Patrik Elias, and stalwart defensemen Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer.

New Jersey holds a 33-14-7 advantage against Florida, including a 24-4-3 record in the last 31 games.

This, however, is a different Devils team. Elias remains sidelined with hepatitis A and isn't expected back until December, while Stevens retired after 22 seasons and Niedermayer signed with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in August.

As a result, the Devils have scored three goals or less in 13 games and have allowed an average of 3.55 goals. In 2003-04, they gave up just two goals per game.

New Jersey will likely look to Martin Brodeur to continue his dominance against Florida. Brodeur is 29-8-7 in his career against the Panthers and hasn't lost to them on the road since April 9, 1997, going 13-0-1.

The Panthers' skid is their longest since a team-record 13-game slide from Feb. 7-March 23, 1998. They finished 24-43-15 and had the second-worst record in the league that season behind the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Florida hasn't won since Oct. 25, a 4-3 triumph at Pittsburgh. It has gone 0-7-4 since.

The Panthers have been outshot in eight of the 11 losses while allowing an average of 36 shots. The team has surrendered at least one power-play goal in each game, and Florida has killed just 76.5 percent of its penalties over that span, ranking them near the bottom of the league in that category.

In a 5-3 defeat Saturday to the New York Islanders, Kristian Huselius, Gary Roberts and Olli Jokinen scored, but Florida gave up three third-period goals.

Panthers coach Jacques Martin was frustrated with his team's inability to kill penalties.

"It was disappointing," Martin said. "Once again we got into trouble when we took penalties. You have to give them credit, they got to the front of the net. We have to be able to box them out."

In the Devils' 5-4 loss Saturday to the Ottawa Senators, Brodeur made 37 saves and dropped to 3-2-0 since returning from a six-game absence with a sprained right knee.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 22): Devils - 20 points, 4th place (tied), 11 PB, Atlantic Division. Panthers - 16 points, 4th place (tied), 13 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Brian Gionta, 13 goals and 21 points; Scott Gomez, 13 assists; Jamie Langenbrunner, 24 PIM. Panthers - Jokinen and Nathan Horton, 7 goals; Jokinen, 12 assists and 19 points; Branislav Mezei, 37 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 22): Devils - Power play: 21.3 percent (25 for 117), 5th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.9 percent (90 for 106), 8th. Panthers - Power play: 11.7 percent (15 for 128), 29th. Penalty killing: 79.1 percent (106 for 134), tied for 25th.

GOALTENDERS: Devils - Brodeur (7-7-0, 0 SO, 3.54 GAA); Scott Clemmensen (2-2-2, 0, 3.32). Panthers - Roberto Luongo (6-9-4, 2, 2.91); Jamie McLennan (0-2-0, 0, 2.79).

SEASON SERIES: Devils, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 18; Devils, 4-3. At East Rutherford, N.J., Zach Parise and Alexander Mogilny scored in the third period as the Devils erased a one-goal deficit.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 3-5-1 on the road; Panthers - 4-3-1 at home.

Associated Press
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