for this game

Devils end season with 6th straight win in defeat of Senators

Apr 7, 2012 - 11:31 PM
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils are streaking into the playoffs.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals, Martin Brodeur made 31 saves and the Devils posted a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

New Jersey (48-28-6) concluded the regular season on a six-game winning streak, the longest active run in the league, and, as the Eastern Conference's sixth seed, will meet the Southeast Division champion in the first round of the playoffs. The Devils' opponent will be either Florida or Washington.

"We're definitely happy about the way we've been playing," Brodeur said. "I think that was important for the coaching staff and for us to walk into the playoffs feeling good, winning different ways."

Matt Gilroy and Jim O'Brien lit the lamp for Ottawa (41-31-10), which will finish seventh or eighth in the conference standings.

Craig Anderson stopped 31 shots in defeat.

"We created a lot of good things in this game, but we didn't get the outcome we wanted," Anderson said.

Stephen Gionta's first NHL goal put New Jersey ahead at the 10:55 mark of the third period. Anderson made a right pad save on a shot by Alexei Ponikarovsky, but the diminutive Gionta crashed the crease and banged home the rebound for his first career point.

Kovalchuk added an empty-netter inside the final minute.

Gilroy opened the scoring 10:59 into the game, beating Brodeur with a backhander from along the left-wing boards. New Jersey responded later in the first period with a power-play goal from Kovalchuk.

The Senators grabbed a 2-1 lead when O'Brien gathered a cross-ice pass from Erik Condra and fired a shot past Brodeur at 13:59 of the second period. New Jersey tied the game on another power play four minutes later as Petr Sykora directed in a feed from Adam Henrique to complete a 5-on-1 rush.

Game Notes

Gionta appeared in his first NHL game this season and the 13th of his career...Ottawa has lost eight of its last nine games at New Jersey.