NHL: New Jersey 4, Ottawa 2

April 7, 2012 at 10:21 PM
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NEWARK, N.J., April 7 (UPI) -- Stephen Gionta put New Jersey in front with his first NHL goal Saturday and the Devils went on to down Ottawa 4-2 in a meeting of playoff-bound teams.

Gionta, playing in his 12th game with the Devils, broke a 2-2 tie by putting a slap shot past Craig Anderson with 9:05 to play in the third period.

Ilya Kovalchuk added an empty-net goal with 43 seconds remaining.

New Jersey closed out the regular season with six straight victories and will take on Southeast Division winner Florida in the first round of the playoffs.

Ottawa from seventh to eighth in the Eastern Conference seedings and will battle the New York Rangers in the first post-season series.

The Devils were trailing by a goal with time running down in the second period, but Petr Sykora tied it on the power play with 2:17 left in the stanza.

Martin Brodeur, warming up for his 17th trip to the playoffs, made 31 saves while running his career win total to 656. He needs one playoff victory to reach 100.

Anderson stopped 31-of-34 shots in taking the loss.

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