April 15, 2012; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers goalie Jose Theodore (60) in the first period of game two of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the New Jersey Devils at BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Panthers Vs. Devils, Game 5: Florida Goes Up 3-2 With Shutout

Jose Theodore was stellar in net for the Florida Panthers, recording a shutout to help his team to a 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils.

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Panthers Vs. Devils Final Score, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 5: Florida Takes Series Lead To New Jersey

Jose Theodore put in his best performance of the playoffs with a shutout on Saturday night, helping the Florida Panthers to a 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils. In front of the biggest crowd in the history of the franchise, Theodore was perfect while the players in front of him did enough to earn the win.

After a scoreless first period, Kris Versteeg broke the deadlock in the second period with a one-time power play goal. its lead late in the game.

Shawn Matthias and Versteeg did a spectacular job to win 50-50 battles to set up the goal, first in the neutral zone and then down low. Martin Brodeur made a terrible decision to come back and get the puck during the sequence and he was beaten to it by Versteeg, who set up Scottie Upshall for the empty net goal to make it 2-0.

Erik Gudbranson committed a penalty late to give the Devils a way back into the game, and they pulled Brodeur in an effort to try to pull back two goals quickly. They weren't successful and got caught out by a Tomas Kopecky breakaway. He was hooked and would have been given a penalty shot if Brodeur was in, but because there was an empty net, a goal was awarded to round out the 3-0 Panthers win.

For more on the Panthers, please visit Litter Box Cats and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For everything Devils, head on over to In Lou We Trust and SB Nation New York. For complete coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.

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Panthers Vs. Devils, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 5: Florida Leads After Two Periods

The New Jersey Devils followed up a solid and disciplined first period with a very poor, undisciplined second period, and they're lucky they're not trailing by multiple goals. Kris Versteeg scored in the second to give the Florida Panthers a 1-0 lead, but they had numerous other opportunities and they might regret failing to capitalize.

New Jersey committed a total of four penalties in the second period, and two of them were particularly bad. Dainius Zubrus was assessed a four-minute double minor for a high stick, while Adam Henrique picked up a penalty while the Devils were on the power play. The period finished four-on-four, and the Panthers will have a power play when the third period begins.

Versteeg's goal came on the Panthers' first power play of the period, four minutes in. Stephen Weiss and Brian Campbell set it up with some great passes, but Versteeg finished off the attack brilliantly with a one-tip ripper past Martin Brodeur.

The Devils played with extremely poor discipline in the second period, but managed to kill the Zubrus penalty. They put Florida on the power play three times in the period, including that extended penalty, and the Panthers will have half a power play to start the third. The Devils need to clean up their penalties and hope the Panthers continue to fail to capitalize on golden opportunities.

For more on the Panthers, please visit Litter Box Cats and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For everything Devils, head on over to In Lou We Trust and SB Nation New York. For complete coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.

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Devils Vs. Panthers, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 5: Scoreless At First Intermission

While things haven't gone particularly poorly for the Florida Panthers in the first period of Game 5, it resembled the first period of Game 4 quite a bit. That period ended scoreless, but the New Jersey Devils went on to win the game 4-0 to tie up the series. Game 5 is scoreless thus far, but the Devils appear to be in control.

Just like in Game 4, the New Jersey Devils out-hit their opponent significantly and seem to be setting the tone. They haven't been terrific offensively, but they don't look too bothered on the other end either. Florida had the chance to take the lead on the one power play in this period -- given for a light slashing penalty on Ed Jovanovski -- but couldn't capitalize.

Both Martin Brodeur and Jose Theodore look sharp, and they have 11 saves each. Both teams are looking disciplined on both ends of the ice as well, so another power play could be what it takes to significantly shift momentum towards one team.

For more on the Panthers, please visit Litter Box Cats and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For everything Devils, head on over to In Lou We Trust and SB Nation New York. For complete coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.

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NHL Playoffs 2012, Panthers Vs. Devils Game 5: Game Time, TV Coverage And More

The series between the Panthers and the Devils is tied at two games apiece. Play moves back to Florida for Game 5 on Saturday.

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