After a scoreless first period, the Panthers jumped out to a 1-0 lead four minutes into the second period. It was all they would need to grab a 3-2 advantage in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
The Panthers won, 3-0, at the BankAtlantic Center. New Jersey faces elimination in Game 6 at the Rock on Tuesday.
Kris Versteeg scored that game-winner on the power play at the four-minute mark for his second goal of the playoffs. He was assisted by Stephen Weiss and Brian Campbell.
Scottie Upshall scored the second goal of the game 13:17 mark of the third. Tomas Kopecky was awarded the final goal at 19:26 when he was hooked going in for a breakaway, emtpy-net score.
Martin Brodeur, who was so good in Game 4 in setting the career playoff shutout record, made 30 saves. He was outplayed by Jose Theodore, who earned the shutout with 30 saves.
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