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March 03, 2004
Game 66: Devils Beat Panthers 5-2: Gomez Gets 5pts

    The New Jersey Devils defeated the Panthers 5-2, in Florida on Wednesday, March 3, 2004.   Scott Gomez tied his career high with a 5 point game.

    Just 45 seconds into the first period, Brian Gionta beat Roberto Luongo with a bad angle shot to give the Devils an early 1-0 lead.   Scott Gomez was credited with the only assist on Gionta's 19th goal of the season.

    Marcus Nilson beat a screened Martin Brodeur just 1:20 later to tie the game, 1-1.

    The first period came to a close with the game tied, 1-1.   The Devils outshot the Panthers 12-9 in the period.

    Patrik Elias beat Luongo just 1:15 into the second period to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.   Scott Gomez and Brian Rafalski assisted on Elias' 29th goal of the season.

    Scott Niedermayer blasted the puck through Luongo on a 5 on 3 power-play at 15:19 of the second period.   Niedermayer's 10th goal of the season was assisted by Scott Gomez and Brian Rafalski.

    Patrik Elias got his 30th goal of the season beating Luongo with just 27 seconds remaining in the second period.   Scott Gomez set up the goal with a great pass across the crease.

    The second period ended with the Devils leading the Panthers, 4-1.   The Devils outshot the Panthers, 14-10 in the period.

    Roberto Luongo began the third period on the bench, replaced by Steve Shields in the Panthers net.

    Juraj Kolnik beat Martin Brodeur 4:00 into the third period to cut the Devils lead to 2 goals.

    Scott Gomez beat Shields on a breakaway at 7:06 to make it a 5-2 Devils lead.   Gomez's ninth goal of the season was assisted by Patrik Elias and Scott Niedermayer.

    The game ended with the Devils defeating the Panthers by a score of 5 to 2.   The Devils outshot the Panthers 11-10 in the third period and 37-29 in the game..

    Scott Niedermayer's assist on Scott Gomez's goal was the 355th assist of his career - a new Devils record for assists (John MacLean held the previous record).

    The Devils now lead the season series 2-1.   The teams will meet once more (on March 23) before the playoffs begin.

    The game was the third of a 5-game road trip, the Devils head to Tampa Bay and Carolina next before heading home for a game on the trade deadline (March 9) against the Flyers.

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