The Devils and the Pathers are teams traveling in different directions at the moment. Florida is 1-5-4 in their last 10 while NJ is 7-2-1 in that same stretch. I've always felt bad for the Panthers because other than the run they put together in '96, the Panthers haven't given their fans much to cheer about since. Big name after big name has traded in their Florida address for something else, anything else..
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (21-7-1) vs. the Florida Panthers (11-14-6). This is the second meeting of the season between the two teams.
The Last Devils Game: The Devils started off well against the Hurricanes the other night going up 3-0 in the second before the Canes got 2 goals to make a game of it. The Devils held on scoring an empty net goal to give them the 4-2 victory. Highlights here if you missed them
The Last Panthers Game: The Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the Panthers and just killed them 3-0. The Panthers, as mentioned above are 1-5-4 in the last 10 and haven't been able to assemble much of an offensive attack in those 10 games. Highlights here if you missed them
The Last Devils-Panthers Game: Seems like a different team now doesn't it? The Devils went into Florida with a 1-2 record hoping for some luck to put together their first winning streak of the season. The Devils won 3-2 in regulation on a late tip in goal by David Clarkson.
Tonight's Matchup: Put together a decent 60 minutes and I think you walk away from this game with 2 points under your arm. I don't want to brush off the Panthers at all but with a -8 goal differential in their last 4 games, how can you not? The Devils are, without a doubt the better team tonight but there is one thing going in favor for Florida tonight.
Scott Clemenson will get the start against his old team, against the team who's season he saved last year. I'm sure Clemenson would love to stroll into The Rock tonight and steal one from his former employer. Not helping the Devils focus is that the Flyers come into town tomorrow night and I am hoping NJ isn't looking past tonight's game.
Marty is the rumored starter tonight although at this time it isn't yet confirmed. I'd rather see Denis in tonight so Marty can get ready for Philly tomorrow night. Marty has started the last 8 and played in the last 15 games so I think he's in need of a night off. Since we don't know who's in tonight, this little stat needs to be mentioned as these won't stop coming into my inbox until the record is Marty's. Brodeur's last shutout over Florida occurred Oct. 26, 2006, when he turned aside 29 shots in a 2-0 victory. It was his fifth over the Panthers in his career.
I do think the Devils take care of businnes tonight and handle the Panthers 3-1.