NHL: New Jersey 2, Detroit 1

DETROIT, April 5 (UPI) -- Petr Sykora scored the go-ahead goal with 8:40 to play in regulation Thursday, lifting the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 victory over Detroit.

The Devils won their fifth straight to stay hot heading into the playoffs, where they will be the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. New Jersey will take on either Washington or Florida in the opening round.


Detroit slipped a point behind Nashville into fifth place in the West. The Red Wings and Predators will meet in the opening round, but home-ice advantage in that series will not be determined until Saturday.

Alexei Ponikarovsky put New Jersey in front midway through the first period, but Detroit tied it on a power-play goal from Tomas Holmstrom 6:13 into the second.

Martin Brodeur made 23 saves to collect the 655th win of his career. Jimmy Howard stopped 21 shots for the Red Wings.

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