(Saturday, March 30th)
Final Score: Florida 3, New Jersey 2 (OT)
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Dmitry Kulikov scored the winner 1:43 into overtime as the Florida Panthers rallied for a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.
In the extra session, Kulikov had the puck poke-checked away from him by Martin Brodeur on a short break, but the puck came over to the left circle. From there, Brian Campbell fired it over to the right and Kulikov sent the disc into the far side for the win.
"That win shows a lot of character for this team," said Kulikov. "We played from start to finish here and didn't give up when we fell behind in the third period. This was a nice win for us."
Shawn Matthias scored twice, including the tying goal with 27 seconds left in regulation, while Jacob Markstrom stopped 24 shots for the Panthers, who have won consecutive home games for the first time this season.
Steve Bernier scored both goals for the Devils, who have dropped their past three. Brodeur made 27 saves in the loss.
"You know we keep getting points and that's a positive thing," said Brodeur. "The teams around us have been struggling a little so it's been a little easier to take. But at the same time we're going to have to start winning hockey games."
The Devils had taken a 2-1 lead at the 7:57 mark of the third on the power play when Henrik Tallinder's shot from the high slot was deflected into the net by Bernier.
Florida, though, answered with the goalie pulled and time winding down as a backhand pass from the left side by Scottie Upshall saw Matthias shoot it home from the slot with bodies in front.
The Devils took a 1-0 lead just 3:42 into the game as a turnover in front saw Bernier tip the puck in off a feed from Ryan Carter.
The Panthers tied the game with 7:05 to play in the opening frame on a power play as Jonathan Huberdeau sent a pass from the right circle to the front of the net where it went off the skate of Matthias and into the net.
Neither side scored in the second period as Brodeur made 13 saves and Markstrom turned away seven shots.
Florida plays in Tampa Bay on Tuesday ... New Jersey hosts the Islanders on Monday ... The Devils took a 2-1 win at home against the Panthers last Saturday ... Huberdeau had two assists in the game.
03/31 00:44:46 ET