for this game

Third-period burst pushes Panthers past Devils

Jan 19, 2008 - 5:17 AM
By Joe Rizzo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- The Florida Panthers ushered in a new era with good results.

The Panthers recalled their top prospect, Shawn Matthias, from juniors on Friday and got a spark as Radek Dvorak and David Booth scored 77 seconds apart early in the third period to rally the club to a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Craig Anderson made 31 saves for Florida, which presented Jacques Martin with his 500th career coaching victory, tying him with Toe Blake for ninth place on the all-time list.

Matthias, a 6-3, 211-pound center, was acquired last season in the deal that sent Todd Bertuzzi to the Detroit Red Wings. The 19-year-old assisted on the overtime goal for Team Canada that gave them the World Junior Championship title over Sweden and had 21 goals and 37 assists in 32 games this season for the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League.

"It was a lot of fun. It's crazy," said Matthias, who played just under 11 1/2 minutes. "I was so excited out there. I want to make some phone calls (to friends and family). I definitely was nervous."

With an assortment of injuries that has sidelined three of their top nine forwards, the Panthers bypassed their American Hockey League affiliate and reached down for Matthias, a second-round pick - 47th overall - in the 2006 draft. The youngster played with top forwards Nathan Horton and captain Olli Jokinen in the third period to help protect a one-goal lead.

"I tried to learn as much out there as I could tonight," Matthias said. "It was cool (Martin) showed confidence in me at the end. There were a lot of world-class players out there tonight. It was awesome."

"I thought he gave us a strong game," Martin said. "I think we have a real good player in Shawn for the future of this organization."

While a slew of second-period penalties kept down the teenager's ice time, his more senior teammates finally broke through against Martin Brodeur to rally Florida from a 1-0 deficit and, in the process, make Martin the 10th coach in NHL history to reach the 500-win milestone.

"I have been fortunate to work in this league," said Martin, who began his coaching career in 1986-87 with St. Louis and led Ottawa from 1995-2004 before joining Florida after the lockout. "I have had some great players to coach."

Dvorak was at the right side of the net when he banged in his fifth goal of the season, converting Brett McLean's rebound to tie the contest 2:28 into the third.

Shortly thereafter, Booth stayed hot with his 13th tally of the season, popping the puck into the net from close range on the left side after defenseman Ruslan Salei's right-point offering went wide and kicked off the end boards to Brodeur's stick side.

"I was lucky to have the rebound bounce on my stick," said Dvorak, who ended a 10-game drought with his first goal since December 27. "It seemed like (Brodeur) was giving a lot of rebounds today. And then we score on the next shift. For us, it's a big boost."

Travis Zajac scored from the doorstep 70 seconds into the middle period as the Devils took the lead. Brodeur made 21 of his 25 saves over the first two sessions before the Panthers finally got on the board.

"That lapse in the third period can't happen on home ice," Zajac said.

Making just his second start and fourth appearance in the last 20 games, Anderson kept the Devils in check the rest of the way, turning aside seven shots in the third while giving Tomas Vokoun a rare evening off.

"After not playing many games, he made some big saves," Brodeur said of his counterpart. "This was a bad loss for us. Up 1-0 in your building, you have to find a way to squeak it out."

Anderson helped the Panthers halt a six-game road losing streak to the Devils, giving them their first win in New Jersey since October 22, 2003.

"I was able to see all the shots, allowing me to get into position," Anderson said. "My job was to make sure the next one did not go in to make it 2-0. We kept everything to the outside. It was a good turn for the better here."

The Devils, starting a run in which they play 15 of 18 at home, have lost two in a row here after winning their previous five at the Prudential Center.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 0 2 2
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 10 (JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER, ZACH PARISE)
    1:10
    3RD PRD: FLA - RADEK DVORAK 5 (BRETT MCLEAN, KAMIL KREPS) 2:28
    FLA - DAVID BOOTH 13 (RUSLAN SALEI, GREGORY CAMPBELL) 3:45
    POWER-PLAY CONVERS

    Jan 18 9:23 PM
  • 25
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Panthers vs. DevilsJan 18 9:19 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Panthers vs. DevilsJan 18 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    NEW JERSEY 1
    3RD PRD: FLA - DAVID BOOTH 13 (RUSLAN SALEI, GREGORY CAMPBELL) 3:45

    Panthers vs. DevilsJan 18 8:57 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    NEW JERSEY 1
    3RD PRD: FLA - RADEK DVORAK 5 (BRETT MCLEAN, KAMIL KREPS) 2:28

    Panthers vs. DevilsJan 18 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 10 (JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER, ZACH PARISE)
    1:10
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLA 8 13 21
    NJD 10 14 24
    GOALIES: FL

    Jan 18 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 0
    NEW JERSEY 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 10 (JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER) 1:10

    Panthers vs. DevilsJan 18 8:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLA 8 8
    NJD 10 10
    GOALIES: FLA - CRAIG ANDERSON
    NJD - MARTIN BRODEUR

    Jan 18 7:41 PM