The Devils got even when Senators defenseman Wade Redden missed
the puck. That allowed Patrik Elias to put a shot on net and
Niedermayer was able to tip it past Prusek.
Gionta scored on a wraparound seconds later after the Devils won
a battle for the puck behind the Ottawa net.
"It's unbelievable, I don't even know what to say," an angry
Alfredsson explained. "You can't give up a lead like that and then
lose the game. If you want to be a top team you have to be
Redden was in obvious disgust with himself after the game and
willing to shoulder part of the blame for the loss.
"We had the game," he said. "It was my mistake that let them
get back in it. I didn't get the puck out. We've got to be better.
Sure it's hard, but if you've got to get the puck down the ice get
it down and protect the front of the net."
While the Devils have lots of respect for the Senators, they
acknowledged being comfortable in a one-goal game.
"It's a 60-minute game," Scott Stevens said. "Anytime we're
down 1-0 we still feel we have a chance. One goal is not a great
lead. It can be enough to win, but we got the goal to tie and then
the one to win."
Things started well for Ottawa when Jeff Friesen was called for
slashing just 39 seconds into the game.
The Senators scored on the ensuing power play when Alfredsson
beat Brodeur with a slap shot from the point. Brodeur didn't have
much of a chance to stop the puck as New Jersey defenseman Scott Stevens screened him.
The Senators were 1-for-5 with the man advantage, and the Devils
Bryan Smolinski nearly made it 2-0 midway through the second
after taking a perfect cross-crease pass from Marian Hossa, but
Brodeur managed to slide across in time to make the save.
New Jersey's John Madden conceded that the Devils might have
gotten a couple of lucky bounces.
"It's funny how a one-goal lead is enough to win, but it's not
enough to sit on," he said. "I think this was a definite
indication of our team's work ethic.
"Sometimes it's going to come down to the wire, but that's OK
because we still feel we have a chance."
Prusek came up with a number of solid saves in the second. His
best was a glove stop on Igor Larionov with less than three minutes
remaining in the second.
The Stanley Cup champion Devils reached the finals last season
after outlasting the Senators in a seven-game semifinal series.
Ottawa LW Peter Schaefer played his 100th game with the
Senators. ... Ottawa C Mike Fisher remains out of the lineup with a
right elbow injury. LW Petr Schastlivy, D Shane Hnidy and Curtis
Leschyshyn were healthy scratches for the Senators. ... New
Jersey's D Colin White missed the game due to a knee injury, D
Tommy Albelin and RW Michael Rupp were healthy scratches for the
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Canadian Tire Centre Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Stephen Walkom Linesmen: Brad Kovachik, Derek Nansen
Attendance: 17,931 (96.9% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Daniel Alfredsson (12)
(Power Play) Assists: Radek Bonk, Martin Havlat
No scoring this period
Scott Niedermayer (6)
Assist: Patrik Elias
Brian Gionta (4)
Assists: Jay Pandolfo, John Madden