Craig Anderson must love to play his former team.
The Florida Panthers' goalie stopped 33 shots shots to lead his team over the New Jersey Devils, 3-2, tonight at the BankAtlantic Center.
Anderson, who won 25 games with the Devils' while playing for an injured Martin Brodeur during the 2008-09 season, moved to 3-0-0 against his former team.
Anderson, however, couldn't do it all alone. That's where Dmitry Kulikov stepped in.
With 1:24 left in the overtime period, Kulikov took a feed from Stephen Weiss and fired a shot from the slot that beat Brodeur.
It was Kulikov's fourth goal of the season.
The loss denied the Devils' their first three-game winning streak since they won five in a row from December 12 to December 21 of 2009.
David Clarkson forced overtime with his eighth goal of the season at 8:47 of the third period. Tim Sestito passed the puck behind the Panthers' net to Clarkson, who attempted a wraparound shot. Clemmensen made the initial save, but Clarkson put the rebound past his skate for the goal.
Dennis Wideman put the Panthers ahead, 2-1, at 2:15 of the second period. With Brian Rolston in the box for slashing, Mike Santorelli held the puck along the side boards. He passed the puck to a wide-open Wideman, and the defenseman wristed a shot past Brodeur's pads for his fifth goal of the season.
The teams ended the first period tied, 1-1.
Devils' rookie Nick Palmieri opened the scoring at 5:01 of the first period. Travis Zajac won a faceoff in the Panthers zone back to Anssi Salmela. The Devils' defenseman misfired on a shot attempt, and the puck trickled to the right circle. Zajac collected the loose puck and fired a shot on net. Palmieri put a rebound through Scott Clemmensen's pads for his second goal of the year.
Panthers' rookie Evgeni Dadonov tied the game at one at 15:07 of the opening period. With Florida on a powerplay, Dadonov fired a shot from the right circle that beat Martin Brodeur for the rookie's fourth goal of the season.
Brodeur finished with 19 saves in the loss.
Despite losing the game, the Devils were pleased with earning a point.
"It's really good for us getting a point," Devils' coach Jacques Lemaire told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "It's always nicer when you get two, but they were leading and they were playing good, too."
"One point is better than none. I think it’s something that we’ve got to build on it," Clarkson told Gulitti. "I didn’t felt that we had that jump that we had the last two games, but being on the road I thought we came back and played well enough in the third to get that point. Obviously, we wanted to get both, but we’ll take one over nothing."
Despite the loss, the Devils earned three of a possible four points from their Florida trip.
Anssi Salmela, placed on waivers three days ago, was in the lineup for the Devils tonight...The Panthers have won three games on this six game homestand...Both teams will meet three more times before the end of the season