Panthers ramp up pressure in 3rd, come up short against Devils

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Cory Schneider made 32 saves to help the New Jersey Devils top the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Saturday night.

Damon Severson and Kyle Palmieri scored for New Jersey (10-4-2), which had dropped four in a row.

The Panthers have lost seven of 10. James Reimer made 19 stops, and Nick Bjugstad scored Florida's lone goal.

Florida finished with a 33-21 advantage in shots, and the loudest reaction from the crowd of 16,514 occurred after defenseman Steven Santini drove Florida center Aleksander Barkov into the Panthers' bench late in the second period.

Severson put New Jersey in front 5:59 into the game with his second goal of the season. Jimmy Hayes won an offensive zone faceoff back to Severson, who fired a wrist shot past a screened Reimer.

Schneider made a sprawling stop on Jonathan Huberdeau during the first of three power plays late in the first for the Panthers.

While Florida was unable to to take advantage of its power play, the Devils used a two-man advantage early in the second to extend their lead.

With Connor Brickley (interference) and Micheal Haley (tripping) each serving two-minute minors, Palmieri converted a slap shot from the left circle.

New Jersey went 1 for 2 on the man advantage, and killed all four Florida power plays.

The Panthers cut the lead in half on Nick Bjugstad's third goal of the season at 7:20 of the second. Florida had a golden chance to tie the game 3:33 later but Schneider stopped Colton Sceviour from in close.

That was as close as Florida would get, despite outshooting New Jersey 17-4 in the third.

NOTES: Centers Travis Zajac and Michael McLeod participated in the Devils' morning skate at Prudential Center. Zajac underwent surgery in August to repair a torn pectoral muscle, and McLeod tore the meniscus in his left knee in September. Coach John Hynes told reporters after the morning skate Zajac is "on the verge of playing in games," and suggested the veteran could return to the lineup as soon as next week. Hynes noted he has to speak to general manager Ray Shero about whether New Jersey will return McLeod to Mississauga of the Ontario Hockey League. … Goaltender Antti Niemi and defenseman Alex Petrovic were scratched by Florida, while center Jared McCann missed his third straight game with a lower body injury. … New Jersey scratched defensemen Dalton Prout and Ben Lovejoy, and center Pavel Zacha. … The Devils wore camouflage warmup jerseys as part of the team's Military Appreciation Night. According to the Devils, the jerseys will be autographed "and auctioned" on the team's website for a "non-profit organization that builds and donates custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans."


Panthers: Host Dallas on Tuesday night.

Devils: Visit Chicago on Sunday night.