Backup goaltender Nico Daws made 36 saves in a stellar performance as the New Jersey Devils snapped Florida’s nine-game winning streak, defeating the Panthers 4-1 on Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla.
Daws, a 23-year-old native of Germany making just his 27th career start, improved to 3-1-0 this season.
The Devils got goals from Alexander Holtz, Jesper Bratt, Erik Haula and John Marino.
Sam Reinhart scored for Florida and Sergei Bobrovsky made 18 saves.
It was Reinhart’s team-high 31st goal of the season, and it was his sixth straight game with a power-play tally.
New Jersey, which snapped a two-game losing streak, played without All-Star Jack Hughes (upper body) as well as wingers Timo Meier (abdomen), Tomas Nosek (foot) and Ondrej Palat (lower body). Top-pair defensemen Dougie Hamilton (pectoral) and Jonas Siegenthaler (foot) were also out.
Florida was relatively healthy, with only forward Nick Cousins (concussion protocol) on the injury list.
New Jersey opened the scoring on Holtz’s goal with 3:50 elapsed. Holtz’s shot from the right circle went off the stick of Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, and the puck fluttered in over Bobrovsky’s left shoulder.
Then with 14:45 gone, Bratt pounced on a loose puck to make it 2-0. That play started when Michael McLeod drove toward the net. Kulikov pushed McLeod into Bobrovsky, who was out of position to stop Bratt.
The Devils made it 3-0 as Haula slapped a bouncing puck between the pads of Bobrovsky.
Florida finally got on the board with its power-play goal with just 33 seconds left in the second period.
After a shot from the point by Brandon Montour, Matthew Tkachuk collected the rebound. He then slipped a no-look pass between his legs to set up Reinhart’s shot from the slot into the open left side of the net.
The Panthers got another power-play chance late in the third period, but Montour hit the right post on a breakaway, and Florida did not score with that man advantage. Reinhart also had a grade-A opportunity from the slot during that power play.
Marino then scored an empty-net goal with 19 seconds left.