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Pair of Goals by Olesz Powers Cats Past Devils

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Cats Remain Four Points Out of Playoff Spot

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -Rostislav Olesz scored twice and Joel Kwiatkowski had the game-winner as the Florida Panthers beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Saturday night.

Click here to read Jesse Agler's post-game report!

Ed Belfour had 29 saves for Florida, which won consecutive games for the first time since December 27-29. Jozef Stumpel added an empty-netter at 19:39.

Brian Gionta and John Oduya scored for New Jersey, and Martin Brodeur stopped 28 shots as the Devils lost for just the second time in seven games.

The Panthers went ahead for the first time on Kwiatkowski's goal at 17:22 of the second. His shot from the high slot beat Brodeur and gave Florida a 3-2 lead.

Oduya was credited with a goal after his shot went off the stick of Panthers defenseman Ruslan Salei and past Belfour to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead at 2:25.

Florida tied the score at 2 about 90 seconds later on Olesz's second goal. Jozef Stumpel passed from the right circle back to Olesz, who sent a wrist shot from the left circle past Brodeur on the glove side.

The Devils took a 1-0 lead 4:34 into the game. Belfour blocked a shot by Gionta but the puck bounced off his glove and went up and over his left shoulder and into the net.

Florida tied the score on Olesz's power-play goal at 9:28. Stumpel took the puck behind the net and passed it out to Salei in the slot. His slap shot was blocked but bounced off Olesz's chest and went across the goal.

Notes: Brodeur (30-14-4) and Belfour (12-9-5) are the top two active goalies in the league. Brodeur has 476 wins and Belfour is at 469. Both trail only Patrick Roy (551) on the all-time list. ... Panthers F Todd Bertuzzi practiced with the team Friday. He hopes to return from back surgery in mid-February. ... Former Ottawa GM Randy Sexton, hired as the new Panthers assistant general manager on Friday, attended the game.
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