The last series in the first round of the playoffs has come to a close as the New Jersey Devils have eliminated the Florida Panthers. The game went into the second overtime and was the longest OT match-up of this year’s post-season so far. The final score was 3-2.
The Devils are advancing to the second round for the first time since 2007 after winning their longest overtime game since 2003. The game was the first Game Seven to go to overtime since 1996.
Devils rookie Adam Henrique, a finalist for the Calder this year, scored the overtime winner that will send his club to face the Flyers in the next round. Henrique also scored the first goal of the game just a minute and a half into the first period.
Martin Brodeur was solid as a rock, of course, and held his club in it throughout several Panthers’ barrages. It was his 10th Game Seven situation and he was equal to the task. He’s now second to Patrick Roy in all-time Game Seven starts and went 5-4 in his first nine Game Sevens. With the victory, he’s now 12-12 in elimination games. Johan Hedberg suited up in one game for the Devils in the series, playing for 36 minutes.
Florida certainly made the series interesting and scored twice in the third period of Game Seven to make things even closer. They were making their first post-season appearance since 2000 and were attempting to win their first post-season series since 1996.
The Panthers certainly showed a lot of grit in the series and were never really out of the running for the series. Their fans rewarded them, too, standing throughout the overtime period in Game Seven and showing their hockey club tremendous respect in the post-season.