Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Marek Zidlicky scored with 2.1 seconds
remaining in overtime to give the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 victory over the
Florida Panthers at Prudential Center.
After the Devils earned a faceoff in the Florida zone four seconds before the
game was headed towards a shootout, Travis Zajac won the draw and worked the
puck back to Jaromir Jagr, who quickly flicked a short pass that Zidlicky
perfectly one-timed into the upper right corner of the net to give his team
the two points.
"I can tell you we draw up a thousand faceoff plays over the course of a
season and they very rarely work," said Devils head coach Peter DeBoer. "You
either lose a draw or you don't get a bounce. The credit was to the execution.
Zajac, Jagr and Zid and [Steve] Bernier did a great job."
Cory Schneider, fresh off a 26-save shutout of Dallas on Thursday, turned back
29 shots to help New Jersey prevail, while Michael Ryder scored for a fourth
straight outing in the win.
The Panthers came up short despite a 34-save effort out of Tim Thomas, with
Nick Bjugstad accounting for the lone Florida goal.
Both goaltenders were superb during a fast-paced but scoreless third period,
with Thomas withstanding 13 New Jersey chances and Schneider making the same
number of stops to keep it a 1-1 game after regulation. Prior to Zidlicky's
game-winner, Florida had the best chance of the extra session and nearly came
out on top when Aleksander Barkov just missed from close range less than a
The Devils drew first blood with 4:38 elapsed in the contest. Adam Henrique
won a battle behind the Florida net and Ryan Clowe sent the puck to an
awaiting Ryder, who rifled a quick shot past Thomas' glove.
Schneider kept the Panthers off the board until deep into the second period,
when a 3-on-2 rush resulted in Bjugstad tipping in Tomas Fleischmann's
centering feed with 8:06 to go in the stanza.
Thomas helped send the game into OT with a sprawling save on Henrique at the
doorstep of the Panthers' crease with 46 seconds remaining in the third
"They outplayed us most of the game," said Panthers head coach Peter Horachek
said. "We scratched a point out of it. Timmy Thomas played well and kept us in
it. You get a point out of something you didn't deserve."
Jagr's assist was his 1,724th career point, moving him past Hall of Famer and
former teammate Mario Lemieux for sole possession of seventh place on the
NHL's all-time list ... Thomas had won each of his last seven starts against
New Jersey, all of which came during his tenure with Boston ... The Devils
improved to 6-9 in overtime games this season while the Panthers fell to 6-7
... Florida went 0-for-2 on the power play and hasn't scored on the man
advantage in six straight.
The Sports Network