SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) _ Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils always seem to
enjoy their visits to Florida.
Brodeur made 27 saves to remain unbeaten in his past 13 trips to play the
Panthers and Patrik Elias scored twice to lead New Jersey to a 5-2 win over
Florida on Wednesday night.
Scott Gomez had a goal and four assists as the Devils ended a three-game
New Jersey is 18-4-3 in its past 25 games against the Panthers. Brodeur is
21-2-3 in his past 25 starts against the Panthers and his 23 regular-season
wins are the most of any goalie against Florida. The Panthers' winless streak
at home against Brodeur dates to April 1997.
``It's always fun to play here,'' Brodeur said. ``Whenever we come here we
have a good time. It's a different atmosphere.''
Brian Gionta and Scott Niedermayer also scored for New Jersey.
``Right off the bat things were going well,'' said Gomez, who tied his
career high with five points. ``We've been sliding back a little too much. We
needed to stop the bleeding. It was a great team effort tonight.''
Marcus Nilson and Juraj Kolnik scored for Florida and Roberto Luongo had 22
saves in two periods. Steve Shields came on to make 10 saves and allowed a goal
to Gomez at 7:06 of the third period.
``I didn't feel right from the beginning,'' said Luongo, who had shut out
Washington the night before. ``I started out sluggish. This is one I'm going to
have to put behind me.''
Elias scored his second goal at 19:33 of the second to put the Devils ahead
4-1. It was his 15th goal against the Panthers.
``Some teams you just get the breaks against,'' Elias said. ``This is one of
the teams where it works for me. It just happens that the bounces go your
Elias doesn't approach the trip to Florida different than anywhere else.
``To me it's just another team,'' he said.
The Devils took a 3-1 lead at 15:19 during a five-on-three power play when
Niedermayer's wrist shot eluded Luongo.
``We hung on what we wanted to do and all four lines played well tonight,''
Devils coach Pat Burns said. ``The chance on that five-on-three was the killer.
We just happened to hit Luongo on a bad night.''