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Panthers Wrap-Up: Devils 4, Panthers 0

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 0 0 0 0
Devils 0 1 3 0 4
NJD - PP - Z. Parise (2), S. Bernier (1), T. Zajac (2), PP - I. Kovalchuk (2),
NEWARK, NJ (AP) - Don't write Martin Brodeur off after one bad playoff game.

The 39-year-old bounced back from his shortest postseason performance with a record-setting 24th Stanley Cup playoff shutout, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 4-0 victory over the Florida Panthers Thursday night, tying their first-round series at 2-all.

"We knew he was going to be ready to go tonight. He made some good saves when he had to, so did our goalie. We have to find some way to get some past him."

- Forward Stephen Weiss.
1. A Quiet First. For Once: The Panthers and Devils had opened it up in the early going in the series prior to Thursday night's action. The two teams combined for nine goals in the first three games (3, 1, 5) but in Game 4, it was mellow so to speak as the teams skated to the locker rooms deadlocked at zero. The two teams did have their opportunities with the best probably going to Zach Parise who intercepted a clearing pass while in the high slot but was denied by Scott Clemmensen's glove. Each team had ten shots on net in the opening twenty but failed to dent the back of the net.

2. Devils Win Special Teams Battle: Heading into Game 3, the talk was all about the Panthers power play success and lack their of for the Devils penalty kill. Florida had gone six-for-ten on the man advantage. In Game 4, it was the Devils enjoying special teams success both on the kill and on the man advantage. Their power play unit got the scoring started and it was no fault to Clemmensen as Parise scored on a double deflection off a point shot from Marek Zidlicky 6:08 into the second period. That would eventually be all the home team would need but Ilya Kovalchuk made it a four-goal game with New Jersey's second power play goal on four chances. The penalty kill units would not be outdone as they killed off all six of Florida's chances (8:38 of PP time). Florida was only able to muster seven shots during those six opportunities and it was a lot of one shot and done as the Devils cleared the puck.

3. Two Quick Goals Change Game, Even Series: With only Parise's second period power play goal on the board through the first forty minutes, Florida had to feel good about their chances of a comeback. Both teams had 17 shots on net and the double deflection was the only marker. Any real chance of tying the game went out the window in less than two minutes early in the third period as the Devils put the game away. First it was former Panther Steve Bernier finishing off a Devils rush with a laser top shelf 2:02 into the period. Then 1:33 later, Travis Zajac scored on another tough shot that Clemmensen could not get a piece of. Kovalchuk's top shelf shot from the slot 8:32 in the third put the nail in the coffin. Two days after being pulled in the second period, Marty Brodeur stopped all 26 Panthers shots to record his 24th playoff shutout of his career. The victory makes it a best-of-three series as the Devils tied it at two wins a piece.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@FlaPnthrsPunk: Glad to know not many #FlaPanthers fans are panicing. Still 3 more possible games, although they have to get their act together on Sat.

@bqknight: #FlaPanthers need to find a way to pull one out on Saturday! #BelieveRed

@JimHardiman: #FLAPanthers, you can't win them all. But you CAN win two of the next three. #BelieveRED

@34inXXIII: Hats off to Martin Broduer. Always been a fan & games like this are why. Big challenge facing the #FlaPanthers, but I #BelieveRed!

@AugInBethany: #FlaPanthers it ok I still love you. :(

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Chad Shields: series is a best of 3 now with 2 in our Den......lets go Cats!!!!!

Javier Naranjo: Your Cats?? They are OUR Cats!! Saturday is the biggest game of the season thus far..see you all at the BAC to see OUR Panthers take a 3-2 lead!!!

Margie Hernandez: We will come back strong at home on saturday. #believe

Tyler Current: a game to forget

James Rosa: Its not over till I SAY ITS OVER

0. The teams played a scoreless first period for the first time in the series. In the previous three first periods of the series, Florida and New Jersey combined for nine goals.

A couple of firsts for the Panthers. Scott Clemmensen (23 saves) made his first post-season start after playing well in Game 3. Also, with a late injury to defenseman Jason Garrison, Keaton Ellerby played in the first post-season game of his career.
6. The Panthers had six power play opportunities on the night but couldn't find the back of the net on any of them as the Devils penalty kill units clamped down.

17. It was a pretty even first forty minutes. The two teams each had 10 shots in the opening period and then had seven more in the second for 17 total. Face-offs were even as well as both won 17 and lost 17 through forty minutes of play.

24. It's another record for future Hall of Fame netminder Marty Brodeur. Stopping all 26 Florida shots, Brodeur recorded his 24th playoff shutout, moving him into sole posession of that record. He had been tied with the great Patrick Roy prior to Thursday.

Marty Brodeur
Bounced back nicely from being pulled last game in stopping all 26 Panthers shots. Shutout gives him a playoff shutout record of 24.

 26 Shots, 26 Saves, 1.000 SV%
With the series now tied at two, the series shifts back to South Florida for a crucial Game 5 on Saturday night. A win on Saturday gives moves either team one step closer to moving on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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