The two teams went into the first OT tied, 2-2 and basically played dump-and-shoot hockey after regulation was over.
It was the Devils first playoff series win since 2007 propels the exhausted team into the second round against the Philadelphia Flyers— ending five years of playoff frustration.
The 3-2 win also put a sweet finish on a tough seven game series against a solid Panthers team who made the Devils fight for every goal to win the final two games and move on.
Martin Brodeur had 43 saves and was magnificent in the first OT period. It was his 103rd playoff victory in what might be his last playoff run.
The game had an unusually late starting time of 8:30 pm Thursday, even though the game was played in South Florida, because of another Game 7 playoff game between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators in the same time zone in New York.
By the time Henrique's game winner went by Panthers goalie Jose Theodore, it was 12:15 am on Friday morning.