Rapid Reaction: Devils 3, Panthers 2 (2 OT)
April, 27, 2012
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: The New Jersey Devils trailed 3-2 in their first-round series with the Florida Panthers, but won consecutive do-or-die overtime games to move into the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time since 2007.
Adam Henrique scored 3:47 into double OT, as New Jersey beat Florida 3-2 at BankAtlantic Center. It was Henrique’s second goal of the game.
The sixth-seeded Devils, who will take on the fifth-seeded Philadelphia Flyers in the second round, are 7-7 all-time in Game 7s. The Panthers have not won a playoff series since 1996.
Martin Brodeur (103-84 all-time, 6-4 in Game 7s) made 43 saves.
QUICK STRIKE: It didn’t take long for the Devils to jump out in front. Just 89 seconds into the game, Henrique deflected Anton Volchenkov’s point shot for his first-career playoff goal.
LITTLE GIO: Stephen Gionta put in a rebound for his second goal of the series, giving the Devils a 2-0 lead in the second.
PENALTIES KILL: Stephen Weiss blasted a slapper on a four-on-three power-play with 14:58 left in the third to bring the Panthers within 2-1. Marcel Goc jammed home a rebound to tie the game at 2-2 with 3:28 remaining following a delay-of-game penalty on Marek Zidlicky. Florida had nine man-advantage goals in the series.
WAIVED OFF: Tomas Fleischmann scored 1:50 into the third, but the goal was immediately waived off by referee Dan O’Rourke because Shawn Matthias interfered with Brodeur.
DIFFERENCE MAKERS: The Devils’ fourth line of Gionta, Steve Bernier and Ryan Carter combined for nine points in the series.
UP NEXT: Devils vs. Flyers, 3 p.m. Sunday in Philadelphia.