DETROIT (AP) - Petr Sykora broke a tie with 8:40 left, Alexei Ponikarovsky also had a goal and Martin Brodeur made 23 saves in the New Jersey Devils' 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.
Tomas Holmstrom scored for Detroit, fighting Central Division rivals Nashville and Chicago for home ice in the first round of the playoffs. Jimmy Howard stopped 19 shots.
The Red Wings were coming off a 3-2 shootout win in St. Louis on Wednesday night.
Sykora beat Howard from in front after taking a pass from Patrik Elias. It was Sykora's 20th goal.
Ponikarovsky opened the scoring with 9:47 left in the first period when he put in a rebound for his 14th goal. Holmstrom tied it on a power play 6:13 into the second period. He put Jiri Hudler's cross-crease pass into an empty net for his 11th goal.
NOTES: The Red Wings signed center Riley Sheahan to a three-year entry-level contract. The 20-year-old Sheahan was Detroit's first-round pick (21st overall) in the 2010 draft. Sheahan was with the team, but didn't play. ... Red Wings forward Danny Cleary didn't play because of a knee injury that has plagued him for much of the season. ... Detroit C Darren Helm skated Thursday morning for the first time since spraining his left MCL on March 17. General manager Ken Holland said he expects Helm to return during the first round of the playoffs. ... Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey returned after sitting out a one-game suspension for elbowing Florida's Tomas Kopecky in the face Sunday. ... New Jersey RW David Clarkson returned after missing a game with a lower-body injury. ... Devils coach Pete DeBoer once coached the suburban Detroit-based Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. ... New Jersey defenseman Andy Greene is from the Detroit suburb of Trenton.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)