Martin Brodeur (455 career wins in the NHL) and Ed Belfour (460) were the starting goaltenders in New Jersey on Saturday night. It was the first time in NHL history that the two starting goaltenders each had at least 450 career wins. The total of 915 combined wins was three shy of the NHL record for two starting goaltenders in the same game. On March 15, 2003, Patrick Roy (544) and Curtis Joseph (374) squared off in game between Colorado and Detroit. Roy (530) and Belfour (385) also had 915 combined wins in game between Colorado and Toronto on Jan. 25, 2003.
The struggling power play keyed the outburst. After going 2-for-29 with the man advantage in the previous five games, the Devils went 3-for-7 against the Panthers.
"It was just finding the way in," Elias said. "We were shooting the puck and we were in good position for the rebounds. That's the way it goes sometimes. We were getting the wins and that's the important thing. Tonight the power play helped us."
Martin Brodeur made 18 saves for the Devils, winners of four straight and six of the last seven.
"The goals are nice," Langenbrunner said. "We worry about playing our game and the goals will come or they don't come. The power play had been struggling pretty bad. The goals might help us loosen up the grip on our sticks a little bit."
Elias, mired in a deep slump, opened the scoring at 5:36 by knocking in a rebound for his third goal. The Devils' captain had gone five games without a point and the tally was only his second in the last 14 games.
Parise gave the Devils a 2-0 lead at 17:02, taking a pass from John Madden and whipping the puck past Eddie Belfour.
In the second, Brylin scored on a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity to give the Devils a 3-0 lead at 1:27.
Florida's Weiss countered with a score at 6:46 before Langenbrunner closed out the scoring in the period at 11:50.
In the third, Gratton roofed a hard shot from the left circle under the crossbar at 8:02 to trim the New Jersey advantage to 4-2.
Panthers general manager and coach Jacques Martin pointed to the penalties that led to Devils goals as his teams downfall.
"Their three goals on the power play was the difference in the hockey game," Martin said. "The bottom line was too many penalties."
Gratton returned to the Panthers after missing Friday's 5-4 overtime loss in Buffalo for the birth of his second child. ... The Devils extended their home winning streak over the Panthers to five. ... The Devils made shorter work of the Panthers after shootout victories in their last two.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: IZOD Center Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Referees: Stephane Auger, Eric Furlatt Linesmen: Jean Morin, Derek Nansen
Attendance: 14,112 (74.1% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Patrik Elias (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Sergei Brylin, Paul Martin
Zach Parise (7)
(Power Play) Assists: John Madden, Johnny Oduya
Sergei Brylin (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Brian Rafalski, Patrik Elias
Stephen Weiss (4)
(Power Play) Assist: Gary Roberts
Jamie Langenbrunner (4)
Assists: Jim Dowd, Jay Pandolfo