Devils get PP goal in OT

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RALEIGH, N.C. – Brian Gionta scored a power-play goal 28 seconds into overtime and the New Jersey Devils wrapped up a playoff spot in their 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Martin Brodeur made 37 saves to help the Devils stretch their winning streak to eight games and become the first NHL goalie to win 40 games in five seasons. The New Jersey star is 40-23-7.

Gionta’s power-play goal – his 45th goal of the season – capped a wild ending, with both teams scoring in the final 5 minutes of regulation and New Jersey locking up its ninth straight playoff spot when the game went to overtime.

Carolina’s Eric Staal scored his team-leading 45th goal of the season with 46 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime after the Hurricanes pulled goalie Martin Gerber for an extra attacker.

New Jersey’s Jamie Langenbrunner scored a power-play goal with 4:27 remaining in the third period. Langenbrunner has scored in three consecutive games and four of his 17 goals this season have come during the current winning streak.

The Hurricanes are trying to land the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs. They entered the game in position to do so if they won their final four games regardless of what the Ottawa Senators do.

John Madden scored late in the second period to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.

Madden’s slap shot skipped off the arm of Gerber to snap a 1-1 tie. Madden has four goals in the last nine games.

But Carolina’s Mark Recchi scored with 11:43 remaining, slapping in a rebound from Doug Weight’s shot that hit the left post. It was his third goal since joining the Hurricanes last month in a trade with Pittsburgh.

New Jersey’s Grant Marshall scored less than 90 seconds into the game, producing his eighth goal of the season and ending a 25-game stretch without a goal. Marshall also assisted on Madden’s goal.

Carolina’s Craig Adams tied it at 1-1 later in the first period.

Notes: The Hurricanes had a two-game home winning streak end. They are 31-8-1 at home. … The Devils have secured at least one point in their last six road games. … Former Carolina G Arturs Irbe, one of the stars of the franchise’s 2002 playoff run to the Stanley Cup finals, attended the game.

AP-ES-04-11-06 2150EDT

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