Wednesday, May 21
May 22, 5:06 PM ET
Nieuwendyk suffers apparent leg injury
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils lost the
momentum in the Eastern Conference finals, and they might have lost
Joe Nieuwendyk for an unanticipated Game 7.
The veteran center had to be helped off the bench after the
Devils' 2-1 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators in Game 6
Wednesday night. Twenty-five minutes after the game ended,
Nieuwendyk limped into the locker room, seeming to favor his left
When asked about the injury, Nieuwendyk said: "I really don't
know. I just went down in the corner and had a hard time getting
Chris Phillips' winner at 15:51 came seconds after Nieuwendyk
was hurt in a pileup behind the Senators' net battling for a loose
Nieuwendyk, who tied the game at 1-1 with a power-play goal
early in the third period, would not say what was hurt, but it
clearly seemed to be a leg injury.
"We'll take a look at it tomorrow and see," he said. "It
feels better already. I'm not lying to you when I say I don't know
what happened. All I know was it was at the end of a shift."
Regardless of Nieuwendyk's playing status, his team's third trip
to the Stanley Cup finals in four years now is in serious jeopardy.
After opening a 3-1 lead in the series, the Devils lost Game 5, 3-1
in Ottawa, and they squandered a second chance to put the Senators
away on Wednesday night.
"That's a position we feel we didn't want to be in," said
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who made 32 saves. "But we have
to live with how we let them back in the series. They outplayed us
in Ottawa, and today they snuck one in."
Phillips' winning goal was set up by Marian Hossa. He skated
around Devils defenseman Scott Stevens on the right wing and threw
a pass in front that went off Brodeur's stick, with the puck
landing in the crease.
Senators forward Vaclav Varada banged at the puck, but he kept
hitting the blade of Brodeur's stick. Phillips then came in behind
Varada and slammed the puck home.
Devils defenseman Colin White took responsibility for the goal,
saying he went to cover Hossa, leaving the crease open. Phillips
made the Devils pay for that mistake.
"They feel high," Brodeur said of the Senators, who are trying
to reach their first Cup finals. "They feel good about themselves.
How can we feel good about ourselves? We lost two games.
thing we have to fall back on is I thought we played decent. We
deserved probably better than we got today. But it's the playoffs.
It's not how you play. Winning is really important."