Skip to main content

Jokinen's late goal pulls 'Canes even with Devils

NHL.com @NHL

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Jussi Jokinen couldn't beat Martin Brodeur with his stick.

So instead, he foiled the NHL's winningest goaltender with his skate - and he just may have saved the Carolina Hurricanes from the brink of playoff elimination.

Carolina needed Jokinen to deflect Dennis Seidenberg's slap shot past Brodeur with 0.2 seconds remaining to beat New Jersey 4-3 on Tuesday night and even its series with the Devils at two games apiece.

Eric Staal, Ryan Bayda and Chad LaRose also scored and Seidenberg finished with two assists for the Hurricanes, who blew a 3-0 lead but regrouped just in time to avoid a third straight overtime game.

"It's kind of fitting. It seems that's the way it's going to go in a playoff game," captain Rod Brind'Amour said. "It looks like you've got it kind of going good, but it's never that easy. ... For whatever reason, we seem to make things interesting."

Jokinen started the dramatic sequence when he tried to stuff a backhander past Brodeur with about 7 seconds remaining. The puck circled around to Joni Pitkanen near the blue line and he passed off to Seidenberg, who unloaded a hard blast from the point that clicked off the Finn's left skate and past Brodeur's low left side as time expired.

"I felt right away (the puck hit) my skate, and then I saw it just in the net. I didn't hear the buzzer, so I was pretty sure, I was comfortable it was a goal," Jokinen said.

After a review of about 2 minutes, officials determined that the puck crossed the goal line with 0.2 seconds left. An incensed Brodeur, who had been bumped outside the crease by Jokinen seconds before the goal, smashed his stick into the boards.

"'I had time to reset myself.' That's always the same answer. It doesn't matter which referee," Brodeur said. "It's the easy way out for them to say that. It's hard. You want to play your game. You want to do what's right and be in the best position you can. ... The referee has to do their job. Today was pretty awful."

David Clarkson scored the tying goal with 11:14 left for New Jersey. Brian Gionta added a goal and an assist, Brendan Shanahan scored his 60th career playoff goal and Brodeur stopped 42 shots for the Devils.

But when this tightly played series resumes with Game 5 on Thursday night in New Jersey, the momentum boost will belong to the Hurricanes after a game they controlled for nearly two full periods nearly slipped away before Jokinen's buzzer-beater.

"We want to be careful with that, because it seems the team who's taken one on the chin has responded very well," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.

At Anaheim, Calif., Patrick Marleau scored the go-ahead goal on a power play with 9:27 left, and the Sharks evaded a daunting deficit by trimming the Ducks' series lead to 2-1.

Dan Boyle had two goals and an assist, and fellow defenseman Rob Blake had a goal and an exceptional assist on Marleau's winner for the top-seeded Sharks, who had scored just twice while losing the first two games of their series against the eighth-seeded Ducks at home.

Desperately needing a win, the Presidents' Trophy winners improved their offensive efforts and eventually got the tiebreaking goal from their captain, who beat goalie Jonas Hiller with a slick deflection of Blake's pass. The goal was Marleau's ninth career playoff game-winner.

Game 4 is Thursday night.

At St. Louis, Alex Burrows scored his second goal of the game with 18.9 seconds to go in overtime and Roberto Luongo made 47 saves to help Vancouver complete a first-round sweep.

Kyle Wellwood also scored for the Canucks, who swept a four-game series for the first time in franchise history.

Brad Boyes and David Perron scored for the Blues, who rallied from a two-goal, second-period deficit thanks to increased traffic around Luongo.

At Columbus, Ohio, Henrik Zetterberg scored two goals and the Red Wings dominated the first NHL playoff game at Nationwide Arena from start to finish to grab a 3-0 lead in the series.

The first NHL playoff game in Columbus - in the Blue Jackets' 659th game - was a mammoth letdown for a franchise-record crowd of 19,219.

Dan Cleary had a goal and two assists, Tomas Holmstrom scored 1:07 in and Johan Franzen added two assists. The Red Wings can advance to the conference semifinals with a win Thursday night.

Chris Osgood's shutout streak of 144 minutes, 27 seconds ended with 3:53 left when R.J. Umberger scored on a backhander off a rebound of Rick Nash's drive.

At Philadelphia, a sliding Sidney Crosby scored a goal that ricocheted off his stick, his midsection and into the back of the net to help Pittsburgh take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.

Tyler Kennedy and Maxime Talbot also scored and Marc-Andre Fleury was sensational with 45 saves for the Penguins, who can eliminate the Flyers in five games just like they did in last year's Eastern Conference finals. Game 5 is Thursday in Pittsburgh.

View More