DEVILS 3, PANTHERS 2 (2OT): Rookie Adam Henrique scored two goals - including the winner 3:47 into the second overtime - as New Jersey advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a thrilling Game 7 victory over host Florida.
Henrique’s wrister found its way between the pads of Jose Theodore to lift New Jersey to its first playoff series win since 2007. It was also the first time the Devils have won back-to-back playoff games in four years.
Martin Brodeur turned aside 43 saves for the Devils, who will face the Atlantic Division rival Philadelphia Flyers in the next round.
After Marek Zidlicky took a delay of game penalty, Marcel Goc capitalized on a juicy rebound from Brodeur to knot the contest at 2-2 with 3:28 left in regulation.
Stephen Weiss ripped a slap shot past Brodeur on the power play just over five minutes into the final frame to cut the lead in half.
Henrique opened the scoring 1:29 into the first period when he tipped a point shot past Theodore for his first career playoff marker.
Midway through the second period, Stephen Gionta went hard to the net and chipped a backhand off a rebound over the shoulder of Theodore to give New Jersey a 2-0 advantage.
Theodore rebounded to make 33 stops after missing Game 6 in New Jersey with a lower-body injury.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The Panthers hosted the first Game 7 in franchise history. ... Brodeur improves to 6-4 in Game 7 matchups over his career and 12-12 in elimination games. ... Florida hasn’t won a playoff series since the 1996 Eastern Conference final. ... New Jersey improves to 7-7 in Game 7s.