New Jersey (38-23-2) at Florida (27-31-3)

Cloudy Currently: Sunrise, FL
Temp: 90° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Tue Mar 23, 2004
  • TV: FSNY, FSFL
Preview | Box Score | Recap

A trip to Florida should lift the spirits of Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.

Brodeur will try for a third time for his 400th NHL victory and the Devils will try to wrap up a postseason berth when they visit the Panthers.

Brodeur is unbeaten in his last 13 games on the road in this series, dating to April 1997, and is 21-2-3 in his past 26 starts against the Panthers. New Jersey has won seven straight at Florida and is 18-4-3 in the last 25 meetings overall.

“It’s always fun to play here,” Brodeur said after making 27 saves in a 5-2 win at Florida on March 3. “Whenever we come here we have a good time. It’s a different atmosphere.”

Brodeur’s Devils fell into the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race by going 0-1-1 in a home-and-home series with Montreal over the weekend. The Canadiens and Devils each have 90 points, but Montreal owns the tiebreaker with more wins.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to Montreal, they beat us this weekend,” Devils center Scott Gomez said after Saturday’s 3-2 loss. “It was a good series but we’ve just got to move on. They’re flying high right now and now we’ve got to catch them.”

A victory in either of those games with the Canadiens would have clinched a playoff spot for the Devils and Brodeur would have recorded his 400th win. Only seven goaltenders have reached that plateau.

The Panthers saw their playoff hopes become even slimmer by losing their last two games, 3-2 at Atlanta on Friday and 2-1 to Buffalo on Saturday. They’ve fallen 11 points behind the eighth-place Islanders with seven games to play.

Florida has had 25 penalties in the last three games and has given up a power-play goal in four straight.

“We weren’t able to win the last two games and they were the biggest games of the year,” Panthers center Olli Jokinen said. “Penalties are going to kill your legs, and we took stupid penalties.”

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