Lou Franceschetti scored 12 seconds into overtime Sunday as the Washington Capitals ended the regular season with a 6-5 victory over the New Jersey Devils at East Rutherford, N.J.
The Capitals, who were undefeated in their final nine games, will open the first round of the best-of-seven playoffs Wednesday at home against the New York Islanders.
The Devils finished the season with 64 points and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fifth straight year since coming to New Jersey.
The game-winner by Franceschetti came on a fluke play.
Gaetan Duchesne sent a centering pass to Franceschetti, who stopped the puck with his stick. Perry Anderson of the Devils came back to check Franceschetti, but inadvertently kicked the puck into the net as the two players entangled.
The game-winner was Franceschetti's 12th goal of the year and he was at a loss to explain how it went into the net.
"I really don't know," he said. "I was being pulled around by Perry Anderson and the next thing I looked up and it was in the net."
Devil goalie Craig Billington said he had to look at the replay to see how the game-winner went into the net.
"P.A. was trying to take the man and the puck came to my stick and was sitting there," Billington said. "Then, as P.A. went to take his man, his foot went to stop it and it kicked up into the right side of the net."
The Capitals closed out the regular season with 86 points, good for second place in the Patrick Division. The Devils finished last in the division.
Winnipeg 3, Calgary 1--Paul MacLean scored two goals for the Jets against the team they will face in the first round of the playoffs.
Calgary and Winnipeg meet in the best-of-seven Smythe semifinal series beginning Wednesday in Calgary. The Jets won the season series between the teams by winning six of eight games.
MacLean scored his 31st goal with nine seconds left in the second period, then added another goal 38 seconds into the third. Both goals were set up by MacLean's linemates, captain Dale Hawerchuk and rookie Iain Duncan. Fredrik Olausson also scored for the Jets.
Rookie Joe Nieuwendyk scored Calgary's lone goal, his fifth in nine games since joining the Flames from Cornell University.
Winnipeg took 32 shots at Calgary goalie Reggie Lemelin, while the Flames had 23 shots on Daniel Berthiaume.
The Jets ended a four-game losing streak and finished the season with 88 points, third in the Smythe Division. Despite the loss, the Flames finished with a club-record 95 points, second in the Smythe behind Edmonton.