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Preview: Panthers (12-11) at Devils (11-7)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: March 23, 2013 7:00 PM EDT
  

Martin Brodeur has the New Jersey Devils back in the win column.

The NHL-worst Florida Panthers have a chance to be there in three straight games for the first time all season.

Brodeur could be in net for a second straight contest Saturday night in New Jersey, where the Devils and Panthers meet for the first time since last season's first-round playoff matchup.

Out since Feb. 21 with a pinched nerve in his upper back and neck, Brodeur made 17 saves and scored his third career goal off an errant pass from Carolina's Jordan Staal in Thursday's 4-1 victory. The Devils (14-11-6) had dropped three in a row overall and six straight on the road.

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"You know him coming back, he's going to give you a boost," center Travis Zajac said. "But he was just awesome today."

The Panthers don't need to be reminded. Brodeur is 15-5-0 with a 1.90 goals-against average and three shutouts in his last 20 regular-season home starts against them.

The NHL's all-time winningest goaltender started each game during the 2012 Eastern Conference playoffs versus Florida, stopping 57 of 61 shots in Game 6 and 7 victories - both went past regulation - to give New Jersey its first playoff series win since 2007.

In the Panthers' previous playoff appearance in 2000, Brodeur stopped 98 of 104 shots in the Devils' first-round sweep.

Florida (9-16-6) still has some playoff life this season, but with a league-low 24 points, it will need a strong push over the final five weeks if it's going to make the postseason a year after winning its first Southeast Division title.

The Panthers are heading in the right direction, defeating the Hurricanes and the New York Rangers to open their season-high five-game trip.

"That's seven or eight solid periods in a row for us," coach Kevin Dineen said after Thursday's 3-1 victory over the Rangers. "That's what we're looking for."

The Panthers have won consecutive road games for the first time since a four-game stretch that started with a 3-1 victory over the Devils on Feb. 11, 2012 - their last regular-season game at New Jersey.

Florida last won three straight overall during a five-game run March 11-20, 2012.

Jacob Markstrom has lost both times he's faced the Devils, but there's a good chance he'll make a third consecutive start for the Panthers. Markstrom has stopped 77 of 79 shots on the trip after coming within 3:48 of his first NHL shutout Thursday.

"I felt really good from the start to the finish," Markstrom said after making a career-high 44 saves.

If that continues, the Panthers' league-worst penalty kill (74.2 percent) has a good chance of improving. It already has, failing just once in seven short-handed chances in the last two games.

New Jersey is 4 for 10 with the man advantage in its last three.

Forward Matt D'Agostini could make his Devils debut after being acquired from St. Louis on Friday for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2015. He has two points in 16 games after beginning the season in Germany.

These clubs split four regular-season matchups in 2011-12, with each winning once on the road.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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