NEWARK, N.J. - With the final seconds ticking off the clock in regulation, the New Jersey Devils stood on the bench and started congratulating one another. It didnt make a difference that there was an overtime to play and that the New York Rangers would still be on a power play. The Devils accomplished their primary mission on Sunday. The got home-ice advantage for the first-round playoff series against their longtime New York area rivals. The Devils got the other half of the job done minutes later, beating the Rangers for the first time this season with a 3-2 shootout win that gave them some momentum heading into the playoffs. "It was important to get home ice, but it was just as important to get the win, if not just for our own psyche," Devils veteran Jay Pandolfo said. "They beat us seven times and to find a way to get a win against them is huge. Theyve all been tight games and I think its going to continue that way in the playoffs." This eighth meeting on the final day of the regular season was no different. It was entertaining, and even had the oddity of the Rangers pulling goaltender Henrik Lundqvist for the final 65 seconds of regulation with the game tied 2-all. New York had to win in regulation to pass the Devils for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, and coach Tom Renney did everything necessary to do that, even though his team came up short. Lundqvist said that playing the overtime and the shootout, which the Devils won 2-1 in four rounds on goals by Zach Parise and Patrik Elias, was anticlimactic. "It was a little weird to go back," Lundqvist said. "It felt like we almost couldve gone to the locker room. But you try to go for the eighth straight win there, so that was something we wanted to play for." The playoff series, which will be the fifth between the Devils and Rangers, will start with games at the Prudential Center on Wednesday and Friday. "Its not going to be easy for anybody," said Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr, who tied the game early in the third period with his 25th goal. "Not only today, but every game we played it was pretty tight. Most of the games were decided by one goal or went to overtime. I dont expect anything else in the playoffs." The last time the teams met in the playoffs was 2006. The Devils swept New York in the first round. "It makes it more fun," Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner said of the playoff matchup. "It definitely makes it more stressful for both teams." John Madden and Mike Rupp scored for the Devils, while Chris Drury had the other Rangers goal, also his 25th. The Rangers, who trailed 2-0 early, actually came close to sweeping the eight-game season series when former Devil Scott Gomez slid a puck under Martin Brodeur to give New York a 1-0 lead in the third round of the shootout. Parise, who missed two glorious chances to win the game in the third period, lifted a backhander over Lundqvists glove to force the fourth round. Fredrik Sjostrom lost control on the puck on the Rangers chance and Elias then won the game. "I think there is a clean slate going in," Rangers forward Brendan Shanahan said. "Both teams could come out of this game and claim that they managed to get something good. From their standpoint, its a win - albeit in a shootout, but its a win. From our standpoint, we were down two goals and were able to tie it up." Down 2-0 after a dreadful opening period, the Rangers tied the game on goals by Drury and Jagr early in the second and third periods, respectively. Jagrs goal extended his NHL-record for consecutive 25-goal seasons to 17. His streak of 15 straight 30-goal seasons, which tied Mike Gartner for the league record, ended. Drury needed only 19 seconds to get the Rangers back into the game in the second period, beating Brodeur with a shot from the left circle with the Rangers third shot of the game. Jagr, whose 25 goals are a career low, tied the game at 4:46 of the third period on a nice setup from behind the net by Sean Avery. The Devils, who scored seven goals in losing the first seven games against the Rangers this season, got two in the opening 12:57. Madden put in his own rebound at 4:26 on a play that New Yorks Marek Malik got caught a little out of position. Coming in alone on the left wing, Rupp doubled the lead with a hard shot from the circle. Lundqvist probably should have stopped it. Notes: Rangers fourth-line C Blair Betts returned to the lineup after missing seven games because of foot surgery. . Paul Mara was a healthy scratch so Malik could get back into the lineup. . The Rangers two first-period shots were not a season-low. They had one against Montreal on Dec. 30. Claude Julien and his Boston staff will handle coaching duties for Charas team at the leagues showcase event Jan. Inter midfielder Joel Obi picked up his second yellow card for a foul on Christian Maggio in the 41st minute that resulted in a Napoli penalty, although replays showed that he pushed Maggio outside the area – and Obis first booking was also questionable. You can watch the game live on TSN and TSN Mobile TV at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt and join our Game Night Blog to get playoff updates. The fourth-seeded Penguins were tabbed as favorites to not only win this best- of-sevens series, but they were also trendy picks to win the Stanley Cup heading into this postseason. Kaleta a écopé dune pénalité majeure pour avoir donné de la bande à 9:28 de la première période dans la victoire de 4-2 des Sabres, vendredi. Ross nest pas revenu au jeu par la suite. Kelenna Azubuike had 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Warriors, who have won three of five and finished 4-3 on a seven-game homestand. Anthony Morrow provided 17 points, while Andris Biedrins had 12 points and 14 rebounds in the win.PITTSBURGH – Bruce Vaughan shot a 6-under 64 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Fred Funk in the Senior Players Championship, the third of five Champions Tour majors. The 55-year-old Vaughan matched the lowest round of his career and tied the first-round record in the event. He won the 2008 Senior British Open for his lone Champions Tour title. "Ive been hitting the ball pretty good lately. The scores just havent been very good," Vaughan said. "Today, it just kind of clicked." Vaughan capped his bogey-free round with a birdie on par-5 18th, holing an 8-foot putt after hitting his approach into a greenside bunker. "It wasnt looking very good, to be honest with you," Vaughan said. "I just executed well and it came off just perfect. When youre playing good, thats the kind of stuff that happens." Funk had four birdies and a bogey on the final six holes. "I played pretty solid all day," Funk said. "I had one little hiccup when I missed a little 2-footer on 16, but for the first time, you know how people always say, You get it back, and you always believe you never will, but I made a 50- or 60-footer on the next hole, so I got it back. And then I made a nice putt on 18. It was really solid, and Im really pleased with that." Fred Couples, the winner last year at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y., was two strokes back at Fox Chapel along with Tom Lehman, Michael Allen and Joe Daley. Greg Norman opened with a 67 in his first Champions Tour eveent since 2009. Couples fought back problems during the round. "I feel lucky I got through this round with that score and then I have a lot of rest before tomorrow," Couples said. "Im really, really stiff though. I dont know exactly whats going on. Im not getting too much sleep, so Im just not feeling very well." Temperatures reached the mid-90s, and the heat is expected to remain throughout the weekend to the point that organizers reversed a policy and will permit spectators to bring bottled water onto the course. Players who teed off early Thursday said they felt they had an advantage. A relatively short course, the fast greens figure to harden more as they bake as the tournament progresses. Of the nine players at the top of the leaderboard, six teed off by 9:30 a.m. Lehman made the most of the preferred conditions coming out of his 8:02 tee time. He birdied the first three holes and was 5 under through seven holes. "Theres a big advantage. Eight oclock versus 12 oclock is huge," said Lehman, coming off a victory two weeks ago in the Regions Tradition – another tour major. Allen seemed to buck that trend slightly, playing the back nine better than anyone at 4-under 31. He was one of only two players to eagle 18. At 567 yards, it is by far the longest on the course. Allen is the only two-time winner on the Champions Tour this season. "I was kind of struggling early so it was nice to kind of get it together on the back nine where I played a lot better," Allen said.' ' '