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New Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers: Game 35 Preview

The New Jersey Devils will continue their Florida weekend series by facing the Panthers tonight. This post previews the game for tonight.

Hopefully we see more of this tonight!
Hopefully we see more of this tonight!
Jim McIsaac

The Devils will look to win a game in Florida after dropping a 4-5 decision in Tampa Bay last night.

The Time: 7:30 PM EDT

The Broadcast: TV - MSG+; Radio - Bloomberg 1130 AM

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (15-11-8) at the Florida Panthers (10-19-6; SBN Blog: Litter Box Cats)

The TiqIQ Ticket Link: If you're in Sunrise, then you might as well see the Devils play. Go to TiqIQ and buy a ticket: New Jersey Devils tickets.

The Last Devils Game: The Devils managed to drop a second game in a row in the shootout. The Devils had 2-0 and 4-2 leads during last night's game in Tampa Bay. However, The Devils managed to blow both leads and let the Lightning score with seconds left to force overtime. The Devils then killed off a penalty in OT to force a shootout. Martin Brodeur allowed two goals on two shots and the Devils shooters laid an egg in the goals column. John has a recap of the Devils implosion here.

The Last Panthers Game: The Panthers faced off against the Buffalo Sabres and were in a similar position to the Devils. They went up two goals on the Sabres and managed to lose the lead, but force OT and eventually, a shootout. However, the Panthers were able to finish the game in the shootout, unlike the Devils. Litter Box Cats has a brief recap here.

The Last Devils vs. Panthers Game: The Devils won a 2-1 decision one week ago in Newark. There was a particularly beautiful play in that game when Travis Zajac and Patrick Elias had a two on one and Zajac took a feed from Elias to bury the puck. David Clarkson also picked up his team leading 12th goal in the second period and that ended up being the game winner. The Devils played a solid game but the win was overshadowed by the injury to Ilya Kovalchuk who will be out for another 2-3 weeks.

The Goal: Finish. The last few games the Devils have really struggled playing a full 60 minutes of hockey. They have managed to be the better team in the last two games, but they could not manage to put the opponents away and take the two points. Rather than four points from their last two games, the Devils have walked away with half of that, two points. Even though the Devils lost both of these games in the skills competition, it says something about the team's demeanor. It seems that DeBoer is having a tough time motivating the team to grit it out through the 60 minutes it takes to play an NHL ice hockey game. Perhaps the schedule is beginning to wear on the team? But that should be no excuse because all of the teams are playing the same condensed 48 game schedule. So, the goal is to finish the game, win or lose, just finish the game without trying to mail in the game after the second period.

What do you think will happen tonight? Will the Devils play a complete, 60 minute game? Do you think the Devils forwards can put up another 4 goals tonight? Thank you for reading and Go Devils!