ADAM HENRIQUE scored his second goal of the game at 3:47 of the second overtime, and the New Jersey Devils beat the Florida Panthers, 3-2, in Game 7 early Friday to advance to second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Devils wasted a 2-0 lead in the third period, then recovered and earned a matchup with the Flyers in the East semifinals. Stephen Gionta also scored in regulation for New Jersey, which won a series for the first time since 2007.
Martin Brodeur made 43 saves for the Devils in a game that ended on April 27 - the 20th anniversary of Brodeur's first playoff appearance for New Jersey.
Stephen Weiss and Marcel Goc scored third-period goals for the Panthers, and Jose Theodore made 32 saves. The Panthers made a surprising run to the Southeast Division title this season, earning their first postseason berth in 12 years.
Henrique picked up a loose puck in the right circle, skated toward the slot and beat Jose Theodore with a low shot. The Devils mobbed Henrique, as Theodore knelt in disbelief.
An hour earlier, all the momentum was going the other way. Down 2-0 entering the third, Florida had no choice but to attack.
With Florida enjoying a 4-on-3 advantage, Weiss cut the lead in half at 5:02 of the third, burying a one-timer from the right circle after a pass from Brian Campbell. The equalizer nearly came 3 minutes later, when Weiss had another shot blocked, Scottie Upshall nearly got his stick on the rebound - the Devils' Andy Greene tied him up just enough to thwart that chance - and Kris Versteeg's try was batted away.
Shawn Bergenheim made a nifty move to get free for a shot that Brodeur stopped. The rebound rolled left, nearly on the goal line, and Goc knocked it home from an extremely tough angle to tie it at 2 with 3:28 left.
And to overtime they went.
In the other game: *
At New York, Rangers defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi scored 4:18 apart in the second period, Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves and top-seeded New York eliminated the pesky eighth-seeded Ottawa Senators from the playoffs with a 2-1 victory in Game 7.
Staal broke the scoreless deadlock, and Girardi gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead with his first career NHL playoff goal. Lundqvist allowed Daniel Alfredsson's power-play goal in the second but stood tall the rest of the way to send the Rangers into a second-round matchup with the seventh-seeded Capitals.