Travis Zajac scores winner in shootout to lead Devils over Panthers 4-3

Florida’s Ville Peltonen and New Jersey’s Zach Parise each scored in the first round of the shootout, but Nathan Horton failed on the Panthers’ chance in the second round. Florida captain Olli Jokinen then fired wide on his club’s final attempt.

Jim Dowd broke out of a 4½-month scoring drought with a pair of goals in regulation for the Devils, who remained two points ahead of Pittsburgh atop the Atlantic Division.

Florida broke a 2-2 tie on a goal by Peltonen just 2:31 into the third period, but Dowd tied it when he beat Ed Belfour, who was at the top of the crease.

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New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur matched his career high with 43 wins, a total he reached three previous times.

The Devils were 3-5-2 in their previous 10 games and needed to win to stay ahead of the Penguins, who beat Atlanta in Pittsburgh earlier Saturday.