NHL Playoffs 2012: 5 Keys for the New Jersey Devils to Beat the Florida Panthers

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NHL Playoffs 2012: 5 Keys for the New Jersey Devils to Beat the Florida Panthers

The New Jersey Devils will take on the Florida Panthers in Game 1 on Friday night and judging by their head-to-head record this season, (the two teams split their four regular season contests, with one of the Devils wins coming in a shootout), this should be an interesting and competitive series.

Despite the relatively even outcome of these two teams match-ups this season, this series really is a tale of two very different clubs heading in two very different directions.

New Jersey enters the playoffs on a six game winning streak, which has seen them average 3.6 goals per game during that period, while the Panthers have lost five of their last six, and gave the appearance that neither they nor the Washington Capitals had any interest in winning the Southeast Division title.

These are the Stanley Cup playoffs, though, and as we've seen countless times in the past, anything can happen.

Here are the five keys to the Devils winning their opening round series against Florida.

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