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game recap

Panthers rally after trailing by three to keep Devils winless

Connolly scores twice; Zacha has three points for New Jersey, which loses sixth straight

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Acciari reclaims Panthers' lead

FLA@NJD: Acciari takes the lead on tip-in

Noel Acciari tips home MacKenzie Weegar's shot from the point, giving the Panthers a 5-4 lead midway through the 3rd

  • 00:52 •

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Florida Panthers handed the New Jersey Devils their sixth straight loss to begin the season with a 6-4 win at Prudential Center on Monday.

Brett Connolly scored two goals, and Noel Acciari and MacKenzie Weegar each had a goal and an assist for Florida (2-2-2), which scored five straight goals after trailing 4-1 and won for the first time on the road this season (1-1-2). Sergei Bobrovsky made 17 saves.

"The energy was going here between periods," Weegar said. "There was no doubt we were coming back. We've done it the past two games (in shootout losses at the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and at the New York Islanders on Saturday). We have the weapons in here to do that, and everybody contributed tonight."


[WATCH: All Panthers vs. Devils highlights]


Pavel Zacha had a goal and two assists, Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist, and Will Butcher and Jesper Bratt each scored for the Devils (0-4-2), who have lost their first six games for the first time since starting 0-4-3 in 2013-14. Cory Schneider made 28 saves.

"It's the same situation that keeps happening, so I don't know if it's frustrating, but just difficult to accept and digest," Schneider said. "We all have control over it, starting with me. We have to do a better job keeping the lead, preserving the lead, putting us in a better position late in the game. We all individually have to figure out what we need to do. And for me, five unanswered goals ... is embarrassing for me." 

Video: FLA@NJD: Connolly goes top shelf for second goal

Acciari gave the Panthers a 5-4 lead on a deflection 7:30 into the third period. Weegar, who had an assist on Acciari's goal, scored off a slap shot from the left point 30 seconds into the third to tie the game 4-4.

"Getting that goal right away, we carried that moment the whole way," Weegar said. "We just kept bringing it to them. We ended up getting the two points that we needed."

Connolly scored his second goal of the second period at 19:52 to pull the Panthers within 4-3. His first goal through a screen made it 4-2 at 9:50.

"We've seen it in the last few games, the resiliency to come back in all games," said Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who had two assists. "Fighting to the end. I think that's engrained in just about every guy in here."  

Butcher and Zacha scored 36 seconds apart in the second to give the Devils a 4-1 lead. Butcher scored off a wrist shot at 32 seconds to make it 3-1, and Zacha made it 4-1 with a tip-in at 1:08.

Bratt gave the Devils a 2-1 lead off a backhand with 47 seconds remaining in the first period.

Huberdeau scored 16 seconds into the game to give Florida a 1-0 lead before Hall tied it 1-1 at 2:28.

Video: FLA@NJD: Hall nets equalizer on heavy wrist shot

Evgenii Dadonov scored a power-play goal off a backhand for a 6-4 lead 15:32 into the third period.

"Everybody was part of the third period," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. "As a team, we were playing the right way. I think we had more speed to our game as the game progressed. That's what we're trying to get to."

New Jersey allowed three third-period goals and has allowed 12 third-period goals this season, tied with the Los Angeles Kings for most in the NHL.

"Everyone's got to bring more," Hall said. "If you're a bottom-six guy, we need more from you. If you're a player like me that's playing first line and getting lots of power-play time, you need production and you need games where you're not on for four goals-against. So off the top of my head, that's what I would say (has to change)."

Video: FLA@NJD: Connolly converts on Vatrano's feed


They said it

"Every line can score. We have no doubt in here that we can come back in these games. We obviously have to clean up the second period, but it's finally fun to get a road win." -- Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar

"You just coach them. You go in and whether you're winning or losing, your job is to make sure that you focus on helping the group get better. That's what we've done (as a coaching staff) and it doesn't change and never has changed in any year I've coached." -- Devils coach John Hynes


Need to know

Huberdeau has six points (one goal, five assists) during a five-game point streak. ... Dadonov has seven points (four goals, three assists) during a four-game goal and point streak. ... Hall scored his first goal since Dec. 21. He missed the final 47 games of 2018-19 after having arthroscopic surgery in February to remove fragments from his left knee. ... Schneider played his 400th NHL game. ... Hynes had no update on center Nico Hischier, who sustained an undisclosed injury and did not return to the game after playing 5:22 in the first period. ... New Jersey was 0-for-3 on the power play and is 0-for-18 with the man-advantage this season. ... Devils center Jack Hughes (No. 1) and New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (No. 2), the two top picks in the 2019 NHL Draft, will face each other for the first time in an NHL game Thursday.


What's next

Panthers: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Friday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, ALT, NHL.TV)

Devils: Host the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Video: Panthers storm back for 6-4 win against Devils

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