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A sad end to what was once a tough team to beat, the
Devils are a mere shadow of what they once were, while
the Panthers are playing very good hockey. Florida in five.
 

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I think you're seriously underestimating the Devils. They've got 3 guys on the team who scored 30 goals (Kovalchuk, Parise, Clarkson), a rejuvenated Elias (who quietly finished in the top 10 in the league in scoring), and a back from the dead Sykora (who scored 21 goals). They just recently got their best center back in Zajac. Throw in Henrique, Ponikarovsky, Zubrus, Carter, and Bernier and they've got solid forward depth.

The defense is a bit more questionable. They don't have any really big names back there, but they've played pretty well as a unit recently. Zidlicky has added an offensive element they haven't had in years. Salvador and Volchenkov have both been solid in their own end. Greene and Fayne have both been kind of up and down, as has rookie Larsson. They're not the greatest group of defensemen out there, but I think combined with how good the forwards are defensively they can get the job done.

Brodeur got off to a rough start to the season, but has been really good since the All-Star break. He's a little more prone to giving up a soft goal here and there than he used to be, but I think he's capable of giving them solid goaltending in the playoffs.

Of course, all this has been said of the Devils in the past and they've fallen flat on their faces. I have a better feeling about this team though. I think they're a hungry team looking to make up for the disaster that was last season. And I think they match up well with the Panthers.

Devils in 6
 

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Two teams that really didn't impress me too much during the regular season. The Panthers shouldn't even be in the playoffs and the Devils won a ton of their games in the shootout which they won't be seeing in the playoffs. But I think this goes to the Devils in 5 games. I just don't see Florida putting up much of a fight against a far superior team in my eyes.
 

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That first period might have been the most dominant period I've ever seen the Devils play, with 26 shots and 3 goals. But then for some reason they took their foot off the gas the rest of the game and had to hold on for a 3-2 win. Some of it was Florida playing better, but I'd still like to see a more consistent effort from them for a whole 60 minutes. It should be interesting to see how both teams come out Sunday.
 

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I'm hoping for more than a 20 minute effort from the Devils tonight at home. They didn't bother showing up in the last game until the third period. It's time for Parise and Kovalchuk to step it up. Neither has done much of anything in this series so far.
 

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Devils with another great start, getting a 3-0 lead and chasing Theodore. And then they promptly stopped playing hard and ended up losing 4-3. For whatever reason this team folds like a cheap tent under playoff pressure. Once Florida got the lead, most of the Devils just gave up. It's completely inexcusable, but sadly nothing new. I thought this year would be different, but so far it looks like the same old **** show in the playoffs...
 

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Devils with another great start, getting a 3-0 lead and chasing Theodore. And then they promptly stopped playing hard and ended up losing 4-3. For whatever reason this team folds like a cheap tent under playoff pressure. Once Florida got the lead, most of the Devils just gave up. It's completely inexcusable, but sadly nothing new. I thought this year would be different, but so far it looks like the same old **** show in the playoffs...
It's amazing how you could substitute Devils with Penguins and be dead on for both teams. At least NJ has won a game in their first three.
 

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It's amazing how you could substitute Devils with Penguins and be dead on for both teams. At least NJ has won a game in their first three.
And they almost blew that game too. The biggest problem has been the PK. This was a PK that set a modern day record during the regular season that has completely fallen apart in the playoffs. They've allowed 6 PP goals on 10 chances, which is just pathetic. At even strength they've only allowed 3 goals in 3 games. Cut the amount of PP goals they've given up in half and they could easily be up 2-1 or 3-0 in this series.
 

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its been a good entertaining series so far...didnt expect much from it, especially very little offense, but glad to see that I was wrong.

Panthers in 7
 

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I'm hoping the Devils can build off their performance at home in Game 4 and get a win in Florida. It would be nice to be able to close out a series at home on Tuesday. The way this series has gone though, who knows what will happen.
 

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My heart and sanity can't take any more. Play like garbage in Game 5 to go down 3-2 in the series. Take a 2-0 lead in Game 6, then blow that lead and go to OT. Force Game 7 with a win in OT. I was a nervous wreck for the entire third period and OT.

Now they just need to finish this off in Florida...
 

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HF-MOTM Winner - Apr 08
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My heart and sanity can't take any more. Play like garbage in Game 5 to go down 3-2 in the series. Take a 2-0 lead in Game 6, then blow that lead and go to OT. Force Game 7 with a win in OT. I was a nervous wreck for the entire third period and OT.

Now they just need to finish this off in Florida...
Is Marty going to give up the tying and winning goal in the last two minutes like he did against the Canes a few years back?
 

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I think this team has taken 2-3 years off my life the last two games, but damn does it feel good to win a playoff series again. Henrique, who had tailed off the regular season and into the playoffs, came up with an absolutely huge game when they needed it the most. And Marty was vintage Marty in the third and OT.

The Panthers earned a ton of respect from me. They never gave up, no matter the situation and made this a great series. They gave their fans a pretty damn good show for being back in the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. My hats off to them.

Now, onto a team I can genuinely hate in the Flyers. This series felt weird because I didn't really have any animosity towards Florida. That won't be the case in the second round.;)
 
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