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Devils Top Panthers, 5-2

Ilya Kovalchuk
Ilya Kovalchuk (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Ilya Kovalchuk had two third-period goals to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers Friday night.

The win enabled the Devils to snap a two-game losing streak, while the Panthers lost for the second straight night, after falling in overtime to the New York Rangers on Thursday.

Kovalchuk broke a 2-2 tie at 11:40, when he made a nice rush up the ice and took a return pass from Patrik Elias, who was playing in the 1,000th game. Kovalchuk added an empty-net goal in the closing minute, his 14th goal of the season.

The Devils got a first-period goal from rookie Adam Henrique and a second-period goal from Elias. It was Henrique’s 11th goal of the season and the 14th for Elias. Zach Parise added an empty-net goal.

The Panthers got a first-period goal from Mikael Samuelsson and a second-period goal from Krystofer Barch. Jacob Markstrom made 25 saves for Florida. Johan Hedberg had 22 saves for the Devils.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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