Preview: Devils Panthers Face Off For First Time Since 2012 Playoffs

The New Jersey Devils take on the Florida Panthers for the first time since their playoff match-up last April. The first round of the 2012 playoffs did not disappoint as the Devils took the Panthers into double overtime in game seven. The game sparked the Devils to make their Stanley Cup Final run.

However, this year the teams and circumstances are a lot more different. Here is what to watch for in tonights game.

Big Story:
Goaltending, both teams are coming off of great performances by their goaltenders. Martin Brodeur, returning from injury Thursday night, had a goal and only let up one goal. Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom made 44 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Rangers Thursday. With both goalies playing well, expect it to be a high intensity low-scoring game. Also, the Devils newly acquired Matt D’Agostini will make his Devils debut tonight.

April 26, 2012; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss (9) goes for a shot against New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) in the first overtime period of game seven of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

New Jersey Devils:
The Devils are coming off of a huge 4-1 win in Carolina Thursday, and are looking to maintain their offensive presence they found in that game. Martin Brodeur is set to make his second straight start after returning from a back injury that kept him out for almost a month. Matt D’Agostini, who was just acquired from the St. Louis Blues, is making his Devils debut tonight. The Devils look to improve their record and move up the standings.

Florida Panthers:
The Panthers have had a rough go of it this year after winning the Southeast Division last season. The Panthers have been injury prone, losing Stephen Weiss and Kris Versteeg. The Panthers are currently last in the NHL with only 24 points. They are looking to do anything for a win and could have some bad blood after the playoff series last year.

The Devils are 14-11-6 for 34 points and are currently sitting in seventh. A win tonight and a loss for Toronto would move them into sixth.

The Panthers are 9-16-6 for 24 points and are desperate for wins. They are last in their division, conference, and the entire NHL.

April 17, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Patrik Elias (26) scores a goal on Florida Panthers goalie Jose Theodore (60) during the first period of game three of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Who To Watch:
Ilya Kovalchuk has 10 points in his last 11 games. The Devils need Kovy to continue his production and hot streak.

Martin Brodeur had a great return from his back injury on Thursday. He is making his first start at the Prudential center in a month.

Jacob Markstrom is coming off of two straight, 30 save, one goal allowed performances. If he gets the start tonight expect him to play very well.

Brian Campbell has points in three straight games, including his power play goal against the Rangers.

April 26, 2012; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers goalie Jose Theodore (60) blocks the shot of New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) in the first period of game seven of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The game is at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, Game time is 7:00pm.

Tune into the game at:
TV: MSG Plus
Radio: WFAN 660 AM and 101.9 FM

Topics: Florida Panthers, Ilya Kovalchuk, Jacob Markstrom, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils

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