Devils Blank Struggling Panthers

Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen is seen during a press conference in Madrid, Tuesday, March 20, 2007. Bundchen is in Spain to promote a new collection of shoes that support the "Y Ikatu Xingu, Pure Xingu Water" campaign for protection of Brazilian environmental diversity. AP

Martin Brodeur has the touch whenever he plays the Florida Panthers.

Brodeur earned his fourth shutout of the season Friday night, notching 22 saves as the New Jersey Devils blanked the Panthers 2-0.

The Devils goalie hasn't lost to Florida in 15 starts (12-0-3) since April 9, 1997, and now has 46 career shutouts.

"It's a lot of fun for us to have that success (against them)," Brodeur said. "Florida is one of the teams that you have a lot of respect for, even though the record doesn't show what they can do."

Alexander Mogilny and Patrik Elias had first-period goals for New Jersey, Brodeur took over from there.

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Game Summary

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  • The Panthers - with an NHL-low six victories - have one win in 13 games (1-7-3-2) and have won only twice in 16 games at home this season.

    Florida is 0-3 against New Jersey this year, including a 6-5 overtime loss on the road on Oct. 30 when the Panthers scored four goals on their first five shots, but blew two-goal leads three times. This time it was the Devils that jumped out to an early lead, and for the Panthers, that proved insurmountable.

    New Jersey went up 1-0 just 1:34 into the game when Mogilny beat Roberto Luongo glove-side from the right circle after Sergei Brylin turned around and sent a pass through the slot.

    "We had a couple of young guys on the ice on that play and they took advantage of it," Panthers coach Terry Murray said.

    Elias made it 2-0 when he scored on the power play at 14:26 of the first. He swatted the puck past Luongo as the goalie was sliding down in the crease. It was his team-leading 15th goal of the year.

    "We had a good brekout on the power play," Elias said. "I wasn't happy with the first attempt. We put pressure on them, I got a hard pass from Bobby (Holik) and made a good shot."

    Florida's Robert Svehla tripped New Jersey's Jason Arnott at the 14:34 mark of the second period. Arnott was incensed and cross-checked Svehla and then jumped on top of him, setting off a skirmish. Arnott was issued a match penalty for intent to injure.

    Devils coach Larry Robinson said he doesn't expect Arnott to get suspended for the play.

    "No, because when I played it back, the stick wasn't even going at his head. It was right about at his mid-arm," Robinson said. "You know in the heat of battle like that when somebody goes at your knee, you tend to lose it. I know I probably would too.

    "Your legs are your career."

    Panthers star right win Pavel Bure, who has been angry with coach Terry Murray over his lack of ice time, didn't have any solid scoring opportunities but did see more action.

    Luongo, who made 35 saves, dropped to 1-11-2. He faced 37 shots after spending three games in the minors last weekend where he faced 121 shots for Louisville while going 1-2.

    The Panthers only had one decent scoring chance late, but Brodeur was able to get his stick down as Ivan Novoseltsev sent a shot on goal while coming across the crease with just under three minutes left in the game.

    "He played solid and made some great saves when he needed to," New Jersey's Scott Stevens said of Brodeur. "It was nice to get those two goals. It's always better to get the lead and get ahead."

    Against the Panthers, that's usually more than enough - especially if Brodeur is in net.

    Notes

  • The game was delayed for 10 minutes just 21 seconds into the first period when a puck shattered the glass behind the Panthers' net.
  • Florida's Paul Laus underwent surgery Friday morning to repair an abdominal tear that has kept him sidelined for the last 18 games. He will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Panthers center Len Barrie also had a procedure on his bruised kidney. Barrie's been playing with blood in his urine for weeks, but Florida general manager Bryan Murray decided that Barrie was endangering himself and told him to get treatment. He should be able to return within a few weeks.
  • Roberto Luongo started in goal for Florida for the first time since Dec. 9.

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