It took 83 minutes and 47 seconds, but the New Jersey Devils eventually triumphed over the Florida Panthers, 3-2, in Game 7 thanks to Adam Henrique's goal in double overtime. The Panthers mishandled the puck trying to clear it from their own corner, setting Henrique up for the game winner through the five-hole of Jose Theodore. The goal was his second of the game, and third shot on goal.
The Devils were seemingly on their way to an easy victory after taking a 2-0 lead into the third period. Florida was outshot 11-2 in the second period, and Stephen Gionta notched his second goal of the postseason to give New Jersey full momentum heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation.
Martin Brodeur was solid in net, but wilted in the third period under 19 shots on goal by the Panthers. He gave up two powerplay goals on the Panther's only two opportunities of the period. Meanwhile, the Devils struggled to keep up with the pace set by Florida, notching just six shots in the period.
The two teams played each other to a standstill in the first overtime period. The pace was frenetic, but Brodeur and Theodore came through in several big moments to force play into Friday morning. Brodeur and Theodore finished with 43 and 33 saves, respectively.
The Devils move on to the Eastern Conference semifinals in the second round of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, where they will face the Philadelphia Flyers. Game 1 will be played at the Wells Fargo Center.