In a must win game for the New Jersey Devils, their top line had to perform and they did as both Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk got a goal and an assist each. The Devils simply outworked the Panthers in this game but the Panthers got lucky and scored two on Martin Brodeur in a game they had no business forcing to overtime. The Devils outshot the Panthers 41-16, keeping the Panthers to 6 shots or less in all four periods of the game. This has been one of the least exciting series in the first round of the playoffs and tonight was no different as aside from the goals in the second period you could have slept through this game and not missed much. Game 7 will be on Thursday back in Florida.
Brodeur didn’t have his best game ever but he was solid enough to get the win for the Devils, though he did let in a couple of weak goals that he probably should have had. There has been speculation that this will be his final season, at least with the New Jersey Devils as he is a Free Agent at the end of the season. I think he could still do a couple of seasons and can think of more than one team that would love to have him even just as a backup to a younger goaltender in need of mentorship. In the end though, it really comes down to if Martin Brodeur wants to play another season or more; particularly if the Devils don’t resign him.
Panthers almost got Lucky
The Florida Panthers almost snuck through this game onto the second round as they got two goals in the second period on four shots. The Panthers never really showed any interest in this game, as the Devils pretty much had their way with them throughout the entire game. They showed some jump briefly in the second period when they scored but that was about it. Scott Clemmensen, who started the game, had a rough start and not a great overtime either letting in two relatively harmless shots. Jose Theodore did not start this game, after shutting out the Devils in the previous game due to an injury and it is unknown if he will be available for Game 7 or not.
1st: Travis Zajac – NJD
2nd: Sean Bergenheim – FLA
3rd: Steve Bernier – NJD