Madden scored in the sixth round of a shootout Tuesday night for a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey’s second win in two meetings with the defending Stanley Cup champions. “Anytime you can beat a great hockey club like the Carolina Hurricanes, it’s a great feeling,” Madden said. “We had to battle back late in the third, but we played a pretty solid game against a team that has a lot of weapons.”
Madden whipped a forehand over Cam Ward’s stick, sending the Devils to their fourth victory in five games.
“I thought he might be a little overanxious and move across,” Madden said. “He didn’t and he got a piece of it but it mashed its way into the net.”
Madden had to wait for his chance as the sixth man up for Devils coach Claude Julien.
“At one point, you go with your gut instinct,” Julien said. “For me, it was his time to go and I had a good feeling he’d be able to score.”
Earlier in the shootout, Brian Gionta scored for New Jersey in the second round before Rod Brind’Amour countered for Carolina in the third.
“We should have won this,” Brind’Amour said. “We started running around in the last minute of the hockey game, which we shouldn’t have been doing.”
The Devils got regulation goals from Travis Zajac and Jim Dowd, who sent the game into overtime by scoring with a minute remaining. Martin Brodeur finished with 26 saves.
Eric Staal and Brind’Amour scored for Carolina.
“I think we played better than them, but it didn’t happen for us tonight,” Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. “It seemed like we were down in their end an awful lot. I thought we did what we wanted to do but we couldn’t get the puck in the net.”
The Hurricanes outshot the Devils 8-7 in a scoreless first period. Carolina had the better chances early but New Jersey stepped up the pressure in the final five minutes of the period with Zach Parise and Zajac getting close-in chances.
The teams exchanged power-play goals in the second with New Jersey connecting first at 7:50 when Zajac knocked Parise’s rebound past Ward.
The Hurricanes cashed in a golden opportunity when the Devils lost two defenceman to delay-of-game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass. Alex Brooks was whistled first, followed by Brad Lukowich 24 seconds later.
Staal converted the 5-on-3 advantage with a hard drive from the point at 9:39 to beat Brodeur for his team-leading ninth goal.
In the third, Brind’Amour scored with 4:15 remaining to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead. Brind’Amour fired a shot from a sharp angle that Justin Williams appeared to deflect under Brodeur.
Dowd sent the game to overtime when he beat Ward from the slot with time running out. It was the first goal for the New Jersey native since rejoining the Devils as a free agent on Nov 2.
Brind’Amour and Williams each had two outstanding chances to win the game in overtime as the Hurricanes kept the puck in the Devils zone for more than a minute.
“We had a few good looks, I had a few,” Brind’Amour said. “Some were just out of my reach or in my skates. At that point, everyone is just going for it. That’s the fun time to play.”
Brodeur made several sprawling stops to send the game to a shootout. Carolina outshot New Jersey 5-2 in overtime.
Notes: RW Trevor Letowski returned for Carolina after missing nine games with a concussion. For New Jersey, Lukowich returned after four games with a bruised foot while C Scott Gomez remained sidelined with a groin pull. … Brodeur has started 13 of the Devils’ 14 games, including the last seven. … The Hurricanes are 0-4-1 against teams they eliminated from the playoffs last year.