The Devils wasted a 2-0 lead in the third period, then recovered and earned a matchup with Philadelphia 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. A couple weeks shy of turning 40, the goalie moved a round closer to a possible fourth Stanley Cup.
Stephen Weiss and Marcel Goc scored third-period goals for the Panthers, and Jose Theodore made 33 saves. The Panthers made a surprising run to the Southeast Division title this season, earning their first post-season 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 on the ice in disbelief.
RANGERS 2, SENATORS 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Rangers defencemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi scored 4:18 apart in the second period, Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves and top-seeded New York eliminated eighth-seeded Ottawa 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 an Eastern Conference second-round matchup with the Washington Capitals.
The Rangers hadn't hosted a Game 7 since their Stanley Cup victory over Vancouver in 1994, but they stayed perfect at home in deciding games — winning their fourth.
New York rallied from a 3-2 series deficit for just the second time, building off the momentum of its 3-2 victory in Ottawa on Monday night in Game 6.
Craig Anderson made 27 saves for Ottawa.