Newark, NJ - In front of a loud sold out crowd at the Prudential Center, the New Jersey Devils pulled out a last minute 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The fan base was frantic to buy tickets this morning after the rumor of Martin Brodeur getting traded to the Minnesota Wild, and boy was it loud tonight.
The Devils got off to an early start tonight with a goal just 27-seconds into the period. The referee was not sure at first if it was a goal or not, but the Devils celebrated. After video review, it was determined that Wings goalie Jimmy Howard pushed an Adam Henrique chance into his own net.
Henrique has now scored five goals and seven points in his past four games.
Just under 11-minutes later, Johan Franzen scored a power play goal to tie the game. It was a very sharp angle shot that just beat Brodeur inside the right post.
The Wings would score the only goal of the second period when Brendan Smith scored his second goal of the year, giving them a 2-1 lead.
But that did not last long in the third period. Just 41-seconds in, Marek Zidlicky scored a power play goal carrying over from the end of the second. The Wings and Howard were complaining that Patrik Elias knocked it out of his glove, but it was actually Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson who knocked it loose.
The Devils took a 3-2 lead with a beautiful Travis Zajac backhand past a flopping Howard.
After Eric Gelinas took an unnecessary interference penalty, Todd Bertuzzi had a Franzen shot go off his skate and past Brodeur to tie the game at three with 10:17 remaining.
But with some last minute magic and the crowd intensity on their side, the Devils pulled out a goal off a Stephen Gionta deflection with 37-seconds remaining in the game. What a game, what a crowd, what a finish.
The win was HUGE for the Devils, who now currently sit two points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. With a win on Friday against the same Detroit team in Detroit, the Devils will make the playoffs. That would be two huge, crucial wins in a row for a team that needs it the most. It will give them momentum to keep rolling through the remaining 18-games.