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Tuesday, May 13
Updated: May 13, 10:21 PM ET
Albelin scores in win over Sens
OTTAWA -- Defenseman Tommy Albelin was happy to be back playing. The goal he scored in helping the New Jersey Devils to victory on Tuesday night was merely a bonus. "Yeah, it's fun to score goals, but it's not what I'm there for," Albelin said, after the Devils beat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 to even their NHL Eastern Conference finals series. "I'm there to prevent them from scoring." Mission accomplished. Albelin finished a plus-2, returning to action after Devils coach Pat Burns shuffled his defensive corps. The best-of-seven series, tied 1-1, shifts to New Jersey for Game 3 on Thursday. Albelin and Richard Smehlik were in the lineup on Tuesday, replacing Oleg Tverdovsky and Ken Daneyko, who struggled in Saturday's series-opening 3-2 overtime loss. Burns' decision paid off quickly as Albelin opened the scoring on New Jersey's first shot 4:15 in. Setting up at the left point, Albelin's shot beat Ottawa goaltender Patrick Lalime, who was screened by New Jersey's Pascal Rheaume. It was Albelin's seventh career playoff goal and first in 33 playoff games, dating to May 7, 1995. Burns declined to take credit for the move. "I don't think it was the decision of the game or the decision of the century," Burns said. And the coach didn't consider the switch as a penalty for Tverdovsky and Daneyko. "I don't think we are punishing those guys," Burns said. "I think it was a question of we feel that making a change at one point in time is sometimes a breath of fresh air." It was Albelin's fourth appearance this postseason, getting 14 minutes and 29 seconds of ice time. Smehlik made his second appearance, and first after sitting out seven games. He finished a plus-1 while logging 12:43. Tverdovsky was in for two of the Senators' goals in Game 1. That included Shaun Van Allen's winner, in which Tverdovsky was caught out of position. Tverdovsky was benched for the final two games of New Jersey's second-round series against Tampa Bay. The 39-year-old Daneyko was scratched for the second time in the playoffs. The first time occurred in Game 4 of the Devils' first-round series against Boston, ending Daneyko's streak of 165 straight playoff appearances.