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Devils thrash Panthers, Phoenix win in OT

The New Jersey Devils hammered Florida 4-0 to level their Stanley Cup playoff series on Thursday while in the Western Conference Phoenix earned a 3-2 overtime win over Chicago to go 3-1 up in their best-of-seven series.

In Washington, the Capitals overcame the absence of Nicklas Backstrom to beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 and level their Eastern Conference first round series at 2-2.

New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur set an NHL record 24th career playoff shutout to frustrate the Panthers in Newark and level the series at 2-2.

Zach Parise scored 6:08 into the second period with a deflection off a long-range slap shot from defenseman Marek Zidlicky on the power play to give the Devils the advantage.

New Jersey opened up the game in the third period thanks to a thundering effort from Steve Bernier and goals from Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk to ensure a convincing victory.

The fifth game of the series takes place in South Florida on Saturday.

All four games between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Phoenix Coyotes have needed overtime to separate the teams and for the third time Phoenix came out on top.

Mikkel Boedker again got the overtime winner, following on from his game-deciding goal on Tuesday, giving the Coyotes a chance for their first series win since they moved to Arizona.

Third period goals from Shane Doan and Taylor Pyatt had put Phoenix 2-0 up but Chicago fought back with a goal from Brendan Morrison before Michael Frolik put home a rebound with just 1:26 left in regulation to force overtime.

Boedker then produced a moment of outstanding skill and strength to muscle his way past the defense before sliding the puck through netminder Corey Crawford's pads in overtime.

(Reporting By Simon Evans; Editing by Peter Rutherford)