Devils to face Florida in first round

April, 7, 2012
4/07/12
11:53
PM ET
With the Eastern Conference match-ups finally set, the Devils will travel to Florida to face the Panthers in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

While the sixth-place Devils rattled off their sixth straight win in Saturday's season finale -- beating the Senators 4-2 -- the Panthers rolled over the Hurricanes to clinch their first Southeast Division title of franchise history and retain the third seed in the East.

Florida earned a playoff spot for the first time since 2000, but are not heading into the post-season playing their best hockey. The Panthers are 2-3-5 in their last ten games and will host one of the league's hottest teams when former coach Pete DeBoer brings his Devils squad down South.

The teams split the series with two wins apiece in four meetings this season, although Florida finished with the edge in earning five points against the Devils (2-1-1).

They'll meet in the post-season for the second time in history when the playoffs begin next week. The full schedule will be announced Sunday at 1 p.m.




Katie Strang covers the Rangers, Islanders and Devils for ESPNNewYork.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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