Skip to content

Series at a glance: Florida-New Jersey playoff preview

Apr 8, 2012, 8:34 PM EDT

Schedule

All times are Eastern.

* – if necessary

Friday April 13 in Florida @ 7 p.m. (NHL Network, TSN)
Sunday April 15 in Florida @ 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, TSN)
Tuesday April 17 in New Jersey @ 7 p.m. (NHL Network, TSN)
Thursday April 19 in New Jersey @ 7 p.m. (NHL Network, TSN)
*Saturday April 21 in Florida @ 6:30 p.m. (NHL Network, TSN)
*Tuesday April 24 in New Jersey @ TBD (TBD)
*Thursday April 26 in Florida @ TBD (TBD)

Three storylines to follow

1. Goalie questions. Neither team can feel 100 percent comfortable in net. For better or worse, Martin Brodeur is essentially grandfathered into the New Jersey goal while the Panthers might be better off going with Brodeur’s former backup in Scott Clemmensen rather than Jose Theodore. Either way, the goaltending doesn’t look to be a beauty contest.

2. Jersey’s stars. The Devils have the star power category locked up but, aside from Patrik Elias, haven’t thrived in the big time. Ilya Kovalchuk‘s single career playoff win — game, not series — is pretty well-publicized and Zach Parise‘s future remains in question, so there are a lot of moving parts for a team that admittedly looks much better on paper.

3. House money? The Panthers head into the playoffs in a rare spot. They’re the third seed, yet almost certainly the underdogs. They’ve already done more than people expected by a) making the playoffs and b) winning the Southeast. Playing with house money and home ice advantage? Not too shabby.

Records

Florida: 38-26-18, 94 points (1st in Southeast; 3rd in Eastern Confrence) | New Jersey: 48-28-6, 102 points (4th in Atlantic; 6th in Eastern Conference)

Leading scorers

Florida: Tomas Fleischmann (27G-31A-61PTS) | New Jersey: Ilya Kovalchuk (37G-46A-83PTS)

Starting goalies

Florida: Jose Theodore (22-16-11, 2.46 GAA) or Scott Clemmensen (14-6-6, 2.57 GAA) | New Jersey: Martin Brodeur (31-21-4, 2.41 GAA)

Head-to-head

Season series tied at 2-2
Nov. 21: At Florida 4, New Jersey 3
Dec. 13: New Jersey 3, at Florida 2, SO
Jan. 6: At New Jersey 5, Florida 2
Feb. 11: Florida 3, at New Jersey 1

Last 10 games

Florida: 2-3-5 | New Jersey: 7-2-1

Playoff history

New Jersey leads 1-0 (4-0 in 2000 Eastern Conference quarterfinals)

2011 playoffs

Florida: Did not qualify | New Jersey: Did not qualify

Stanley Cups

Florida: None | New Jersey: 3 (1995, 2000, 2003)

Injuries

Florida: Jack Skille (shoulder) and Matt Bradley (concussion).

New Jersey: David Clarkson (lower-body), Jacob Josefson (wrist) and Henrik Tallinder (leg).

  1. chocotay77 - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    tight battle, but i have to go to penguins because they prove that they can win a cup.

  2. randomhero1218 - Apr 8, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Goalie Questions in New Jersey?

    Martin Brodeur’s post All-Star game numbers: 17-9-2, 2.05 GAA, .921 SV%

  3. quonce - Apr 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Why hasn’t Joe yerdon written about the Devils penalty kill.percentage record this season yet?

    Just kidding Joe, you know I love ya!

    Devils in 5.

  4. jkay1818 - Apr 8, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    devils get a bye for being the 6 seed

  5. dolphincult - Apr 8, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    playing with house money? let it ride! wouldnt mind seeing the old rats. their fans deserve it as does the coach and gm. finish off marty boyz, he’s on slow cook

  6. cup0pizza - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    This is the most appealing opening round series to me. I don’t get into the Philly & Pittsburgh stuff. This one could be really great.

  7. phillyphever - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    Jersey in a sweep. Florida’s lucky to be in the playoffs after playing poorly the last couple of games.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Johansen (2776)
  2. J. Harding (2256)
  3. S. Crosby (1891)
  4. B. Ryan (1457)
  5. J. Drouin (1406)
  1. D. Kuemper (1188)
  2. C. Giroux (1184)
  3. N. Horton (1085)
  4. E. Malkin (1055)
  5. D. Alfredsson (1035)