Devils 3, Panthers 2, SO

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 13, 2011
Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias scored in the shootout and Martin Brodeur stopped both Florida attempts to lift the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Panthers on Tuesday night. Elias and Zach Parise had the New Jersey goals in regulation. Brodeur made 24 saves to help the Devils rally from a two-goal deficit for their fourth win in five games. Kris Versteeg scored twice for Florida, which dropped its third straight. Jose Theodore stopped 32 shots. Parise tied it 2-all at 7:40 of the third period. Henrik Tallinder's slap shot from straight on just inside the blue line went wide of the net to Theodore's right. The puck ricocheted off the end boards and went right to Parise, who slammed it in for his 10th goal. Versteeg's short-handed breakaway goal at 7:29 of the second gave Florida a 2-0 lead. Shortly after a faceoff at center ice, Versteeg stick-checked the puck away from Tallinder. Versteeg took control of the puck and skated in alone on Brodeur before firing a shot high past the goalie's glove side. Just 56 seconds after Versteeg's second goal, Elias made it 2-1. Kovalchuk had the puck behind the Devils' net and sent a pass to Parise in the left circle. Parise drew several players toward him before passing the puck to Elias at the right side of the net. It was Elias' 10th goal. Adam Larsson's turnover deep in the New Jersey zone led to Versteeg's goal that gave Florida a 1-0 lead at 15:10 of the first period. Larsson was in the right corner when he attempted a weak backhand pass. Stephen Weiss intercepted in the circle and skated in on Brodeur. The Florida forward deked as he skated across the front of the net, causing Brodeur to hit the ice. Weiss then sent a pass back to Versteeg, who scored his team-leading 14th goal. New Jersey's Petr Sykora missed an opportunity to score the decisive goal in the final seconds of regulation when, standing just outside the crease, he redirected a pass from Mark Fayne wide of an open net. NOTES: It was the second meeting of the season for these teams, both in Florida. The Panthers overcame a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 on Nov. 21. ... Florida's four-game homestand continues against Calgary on Friday, Carolina on Sunday and Phoenix next Tuesday. ... New Jersey's NHL-leading penalty-killing unit was needed only once, successfully killing Dainius Zubrus' tripping penalty midway through the third period. ... The Devils improved to 12-5-0 in one-goal games. It was their fifth straight one-goal game.
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