Devils Vs. Panthers, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 3: New Jersey Leads 3-2

Penalties, bad goaltending and a big shift in momentum have defined the first period of Game 3 between the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils. Panthers goalie Jose Theodore got off to a nightmare start, allowing three goals in his first six shots faced, but Kevin Dineen changed goalies and completely changed momentum. They scored twice before the end of the period, and the Devils lead 3-2 at the first intermission.

Zach Parise scored just 33 seconds into the game for the Devils, and that was followed up by another goal less than four minutes into the period. Two minutes after that, Kris Versteeg picked up an interference penalty and Patrick Elias scored on the ensuing power play to make it 3-0.

Theodore was pulled and Scott Clemmensen entered, but he had almost no work in the final 10 minutes of the period. He's faced just one shot during his time in the game. The Panthers completely turned the game around after Clemmensen entered, and they recorded all nine of the period's shots on target between the two teams.

The Devils gifted momentum back to the Panthers in the final four minutes, committing a couple of penalties and giving away two power plays. The first was committed by Elias and led to a goal by Sean Bergenheim. With just under two minutes left in the period, Devils Steve Bernier and Bryce Salvador were given penalties for roughing, along with the Panthers' Scottie Upshall, giving Florida a power play. Jason Garrison converted eight minutes before the end of the period, giving his team a huge boost heading into the locker room.

For more on the two teams, head over to New Jersey Devils blog In Lou We Trust and Florida Panthers blog Litter Box Cats.

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