Stanley Cup Playoffs – Game #3 Preview – Florida Panthers vs. New Jersey Devils

Stanley Cup Playoffs Round One, New Jersey Devils vs Florida Panthers

Stanley Cup Playoffs
New Jersey Devils vs. Florida Panthers
7:00 PM E.T.
Radio: Bloomberg 1130 AM or SiriusXM 92

With the best of 7 series tied 1-1, the Devils will host their first playoff game in over two years tonight as they take on the Florida Panthers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals.  To say fans are ecstatic about this game is an understatement.  Forums have been blowing up, Facebook and Twitter are going crazy, and at 7pm tonight, chaos will consume the Prudential Center in Newark in the form of 17,625 red, swinging towels!  If you don’t already have tickets, you should move quickly because once the puck drops, this game will be sold out and you don’t want to be on the outside looking in.

For those of you attending the game tonight, there’s a Fan Fest outside Championship Plaza that begins at 5pm.  Once inside, the Devils will be handing out Red Rally Towels and noisemakers, but feel free to bring your own!

Getting down to business, despite a Game 1 victory, the Devils have looked sloppy in the first two games of the series thus far. Game 2 was particularly frustrating as they fell behind quickly and never recovered, waiting until the 3rd period before finally waking up and playing with a sense of urgency. And as you all know, a lackluster performances in the NHL playoffs can quickly put you in a hole, and the Panthers took full advantage of that.  With the Devils trailing 3-0 heading into the 3rd period, Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk scored goals for what would have been an impressive comeback, but New Jersey came up short and lost 4-2.

Speaking of Ilya Kovalchuk, he has looked lost in the series so far and in order for the Devils to regain momentum and win games, he needs to get on the score sheet early.  However, he isn’t the only one who needs to wake up: paging Zach Parise…has anyone seen him? For someone who is fighting for a contract at the end of this season, the Captain hasn’t been seen or heard from so far.  Hopefully with the Devils playing at home for the next two games, both Kovalchuk and Parise can dig deep and pop some goals in the back of the net.

The Panthers took advantage of an early power play in Game 2 and Stephen Weiss scored 23 seconds into the game, making it the fastest goal in Florida’s playoff history and the fastest power-play goal in the NHL playoffs since 1987.  Aside from Weiss, Marcel Goc has also been hot for the Panthers. He scored a goal on Saturday and added to his total of 3 points so far in the playoffs, and leading his team.

So to summarize what the Devils need to do: If they play 60 minutes of DEVILS hockey, there should be some changes on the score-sheet tonight!  Game 3 is always the pivotal game in a series as it shifts the momentum to the team that comes out on top.  Let’s get this done and win this game!

Line Combinations (Subject to Change):

New Jersey Devils:

Zach Parise – Travis Zajac – Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora – Patrik Elias – Dainius Zubrus
Alexei Ponikarovsky – Adam Henrique – David Clarkson
Ryan Carter – Stephen Gionta – Steve Bernier

Bryce Salvador – Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene – Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov – Peter Harrold

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

Florida Panthers:

Tomas Fleischmann – Stephen Weiss – Kris Versteeg
Sean Bergenheim – Marcel Goc – Mikael Samuelsson
Wojtek Wolski – Shawn Matthias – Scottie Upshall
Krys Barch – John Madden – Tomas Kopecky

Jason Garrison – Brian Campbell
Dmitry Kulikov – Mike Weaver
Ed Jovanovski – Erik Gudbranson

Jose Theodore
Scott Clemmensen

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Posted on April 17, 2012, in Devils Army, Devils Army Generals, Fan Fest, Game Preview, New Jersey Devils, New Jersey Devils Fans, NHL, NHL Playoffs, Prudential Center, Season Tickets, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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