Jacob Markstrom #25 of the Florida Panthers makes a save as David Clarkson #23 of the New Jersey Devils looks on during their game at The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Panthers Vs. Devils Game 1: New Jersey Opens With 3-2 Win

The New Jersey Devils went into enemy territory and came out of it with a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers to steal the home ice advantage.

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Devils Vs. Panthers, Game 1: Learning Curve, Not Goaltending, Florida's Biggest Hurdle

Despite the controversy over choosing Jose Theodore over Scott Clemmensen in net, the real problem for the Panthers in their 3-2 Game 1 loss was an inexperienced defensive corps receiving a crash course in playoff hockey.

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Panthers Vs. Devils, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 1: New Jersey Gets 3-2 Win In Series Opener

On Friday night, the New Jersey Devils headed into enemy territory as they visited the Florida Panthers in the first game of their postseason series against one another. The Panthers, despite being a higher seed, entered the game as big underdogs and were hoping to prove that their division title was no fluke. Florida wanted to take a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven series on their home ice, but the Devils took an early lead and were able to hang on for the 3-2 win.

The Devils scored three unanswered goals in the first period, on shots by Patrik Elias, Dainius Zubrus and Ryan Carter. The Panthers bounced back with second-period goals by Sean Bergenheim and Kris Versteeg.

The third period was just as furious and intense as the second had been. Neither team was willing to give an inch throughout the period, with exemplary work by both goalies. The Panthers attempted the empty net play in the final minute, but were unable to get a shot to go past Martin Brodeur.

For all news and information regarding the New Jersey Devils, please visit In Lou We Trust. For updates and perspective on the Florida Panthers, head on over to Litter Box Cats.

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Panthers Vs. Devils, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 1: Florida Fights Back, Cuts New Jersey Lead To 3-2 After 2nd Period

The Florida Panthers are hosting the New Jersey Devils on Friday night in the first game of a best-of-seven series in the opening round of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The Devils hold a 3-2 lead following the first two periods of play and the action is beginning to really heat up.

The Panthers entered the second period in a 3-0 hole as a result of some questionable calls and a lack of an aggressive offense. For much of the period, the action was fast-paced but relatively uneventful.

Florida was finally able to get on the board at 7:44 on a goal by Sean Bergenheim.

New Jersey's Stephen Gionta was called for tripping with less than 5:00 left in the period and the Panthers wasted no time in their second power play of the game, winning the faceoff and cutting the lead to one goal with a five-hole shot by Kris Versteeg. Following a scrum, the Panthers went on the attack during 4-on-4 play.

With just over two minutes left in the period, the Panthers had a few seconds of 4-on-3 before moving into the power play, but were unable to get a third shot past Martin Brodeur.

For all news and information regarding the New Jersey Devils, please visit In Lou We Trust. For updates and perspective on the Florida Panthers, head on over to Litter Box Cats.

Check out  the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Panthers Vs. Devils, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 1: New Jersey Jumps Out To Big 3-0 Lead

The Florida Panthers are fresh off winning their first-ever division title and are hosting the New Jersey Devils on Friday night in the first game of their opening-round series in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. As the game enters the first intermission, the Panthers are in a deep hole early, trailing 3-0.

Patrik Elias got the Devils on the board first, scoring a goal at 6:31 to put New Jersey on top 1-0. The Devils were relentless and dominating like the heavy favorites that they are in this series (despite the seeding). They took 26 shots on goal in the first period, compared to just nine by the Panthers.

A penalty on Shawn Matthias sent him to the box on a double minor for high sticking on Andy Greene. It was a badly blown call at first glance. After seeing the replay, it ended up being a horribly blown call, as it was clear Greene was borderline cross-checking Mathias when Mathias' elbow caused Greene's own stick to fly up into his face. You can see that play here and just how

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Florida coach Kevin Dineen had plenty to say about the penalty and it wasn't exactly pretty.

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The resulting power play off the Mathias penalty proved to be immensely costly and led to the second Devils goal, as Jose Theodore saved and deflected shot after shot, but was eventually overwhelmed and Dainius Zubrus found the net on this shot.

The Panthers barely had time to catch their breath, as the Devils nailed their third unanswered goal just seconds later. You can see that Ryan Carter goal below, which may very well end up being the backbreaker for Florida.

For all news and information regarding the New Jersey Devils, please visit In Lou We Trust. For updates and perspective on the Florida Panthers, head on over to Litter Box Cats.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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NHL Playoffs 2012, Panthers Vs. Devils Game 1: Game Time, TV Coverage And More

The New Jersey Devils are the No. 6 seed, but they're favored over the Southeast Division champion Florida Panthers.

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