Sykora lifts Devils over Red Wings
Detroit, MI – Petr Sykora scored the winner in the third period as the New Jersey Devils took a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Despite the win, New Jersey will sit in the sixth seed when the playoffs start as Philadelphia locked in the fifth spot with its win over Buffalo on Thursday. However, the Devils' opponent is not known yet as it could be either Washington or Florida.
Alexei Ponikarovsky scored the other goal while Martin Brodeur made 23 stops for the Devils, who have won their past five games.
Tomas Holmstrom scored the only goal of the game for the Red Wings, who have fallen to fifth in the Western Conference after Nashville beat Dallas on Thursday to move one point ahead of Detroit.
Jimmy Howard gave up both goals on 21 shots in the loss.
With the game tied in the third, the Devils went ahead on Sykora's 20th of the season. Dainius Zubrus sent a pass behind the net to Patrik Elias, who quickly threw it out front where Sykora wristed it home with 8:40 to play.
Brodeur needed to make just four stops in the third period to help the Devils to the victory.
Ponikarovsky scored the only goal of the first period halfway through when he jammed in a rebound at the right side after Peter Harrold danced around a couple of defenders in front to get the puck on net.
The Red Wings tied the game on the power play at the 6:13 mark of the second. Valtteri Filppula gained the blueline at the right side and sent a pass over to the left for Jiri Hudler, who then fed it back to the right and Holmstrom had an open net for his 11th of the season.
Sykora has notched at least 20 goals in 11 of his past 12 seasons...Detroit hosts Chicago on Saturday...New Jersey won in Detroit for the first time since November 6, 1996, having dropped nine straight...The Devils, which went 24-15-2 on the road this season, host Ottawa on Saturday.