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Devils get Brodeur win No. 100

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Martin Brodeur's teammates came out flying. He took care of everything else.

Brodeur stopped 24 shots for his 100th postseason win, and a three-goal first period was enough to help the New Jersey Devils spoil the Florida Panthers' long-awaited return to the Stanley Cup playoffs in a 3-2 victory Friday night.

Patrik Elias, Dainius Zubrus and Ryan Carter scored in an 8:25 span amid a 26-shot flurry in the opening period for the Devils, while Brodeur became just the second goalie in NHL history to reach triple-figures in playoff wins. Only Patrick Roy has more, with 151.

"Two milestones -- my first and his 100th," said Devils coach Pete DeBoer, who spent the past three seasons on Florida's bench, unable to end the Panthers' playoff drought. "It's a lot of wins. He's our backbone. He's the best ever. It's a great accomplishment."

Brodeur also picked up an assist for his 10th postseason point. He swept Florida out of its last playoff appearance in 2000, and thwarted the Panthers again in Game One.

"Big numbers, I think, are nice to get to," Brodeur said. "I think people always look at 50, 100, whatever, when you start talking wins to be the numbers to reach. Especially with only one goalie to have done it in the past with Patrick, it's kind of nice to be in the 100s -- even though there's no chance in hell I'll catch him."

Sean Bergenheim and Kris Versteeg scored for Florida, which was in its first postseason game since losing to Brodeur and the Devils on April 20, 2000. Jose Theodore made 35 saves for the Panthers.

"As a group, we've definitely got to tighten up and be aware of their skill out there," Panthers defenseman Ed Jovanovski said.

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