NEWARK, N.J. (AP) The Florida Panthers just keep rolling along.

Nick Cousins had two goals and Florida beat New Jersey 5-3 on Tuesday night for its sixth straight win, spoiling the debut of interim Devils coach Travis Green.

Eetu Luostarinen, Evan Rodrigues and Sam Reinhart also scored as the Panthers won for the 12th time in 13 games. They also played Monday night, posting a 4-2 victory at the Rangers.

Florida leads the NHL with 43 wins and 90 points. It is 25-4-2 since Dec. 23.

“It’s been a lot of fun coming to the rink,” said Cousins, who posted his first multigoal game since he also scored two on Jan. 18, 2020. “Everybody’s pulling on the same rope and we got four lines that are contributing each and every night. It’s different guys every night. I mean, when you do that you have success so it’s been a lot of fun right now.”

Anthony Stolarz made 22 saves, giving 35-year-old Sergei Bobrovsky a night off after a big performance in the win over the Rangers.

The Panthers limited the Devils to eight shots in the third period and 25 for the game.

“That’s where we take pride in,” defenseman Aaron Ekblad said. “Saving goals is as good as scoring one in my mind. And we get hyped up for each other when we make plays that change the game on the D side of the puck.”

Jack Hughes, Timo Meier and Colin Miller scored for the Devils in their first game since general manager Tom Fitzgerald relieved Lindy Ruff of his coaching duties on Monday. The move was made less than a year after Ruff led New Jersey to its best regular-season point total.

New Jersey goaltender Akira Schmid made 26 saves. He relieved Nico Daws in losses to Anaheim and Los Angeles last weekend.

“I really liked how we battled back into the game,” Green said. "I didn’t like our start tonight. Any time you get down 2-0, it’s not the way you want to start a game. But give our guys credit. We fought back and we were right in it to the end.”

Cousins was the difference. He opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season 2:54 into the first period. He made it 4-2 when he reached back to tip a shot home 5:33 into the third.

Luostarinen had snapped a 2-all tie midway through the second with a shot from the top of the circle that Schmid seemed to miss.

The Devils got off to a slow start. They fell behind 2-0 in the opening 6:30 as Cousins tallied and Rodrigues followed with a power-play goal after Luke Hughes was called for delay of game.

Jack Hughes got the Devils going with a somewhat lucky power-play goal. His shot was tipped past Stolarz by Florida defenseman Gustav Forsling.

Meier tied the game with a great individual play at 11:01 of a second period dominated by New Jersey. The big forward outdueled two Panthers for the puck in front of the net, kicked it to his stick and one-handed it past Stolarz.

A little more than a minute later Luostarinen took a stretch pass from defenseman Dmitry Kulikov at the blue line, cut to the middle and beat Schmid with a shot from top of the right circle for his 11th goal.

Referee Pierre Lambert left the ice for a couple of minutes in the second period after being hit with a deflected shot in the chest area. He returned before the period was over.


Panthers: Return home to face the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday

Devils: Host the St. Louis Blues on Thursday



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