Florida owned this game with Jagr back. Florida scored twice in the first period with Jagr dishing an assist in the first period to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead after one period.
Florida made it a 3-0 game after two periods. The Panthers led 4-0 before the Devils scored. Florida got an empty net goal. The Panthers win 5-1.
Florida limited the Devils to 16 shots on goal. Aaron Ekblad the top pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft did a great job preventing the Devils from dishing the puck to create scoring chances.
Florida won 5-1 even without star goalie Roberto Luongo thanks to their offense and defense. The first two lines featured Willie Mitchell and Brian Campbell on defense. Aaron Ekblad played with Dimitri Kulikov on the second line. New Jersey could not stop Florida's top two lines of defense.
Adam Larsson and Andy Greene prevented the Panthers top line from scoring any goals, but the Devils second and third lines could not do anything to keep Florida from lighting it up.
Heading into Thursday Florida had 34 points and New Jersey had 36 points. Florida's win puts both teams at 36 points with the Panthers holding the tiebreaker over the Devils for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference if the season ended today. There is still a lot of hockey left as both teams have played 32 games on an 82 game schedule. Still, this is pretty significant down the stretch if both of these teams remain in the playoff hunt until the end of the season.