Devils
Lightning
4 - 3 Final - OT
  for this game

Devils even series on Gomez's overtime goal

Apr 19, 2007 - 5:27 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Once again, Martin Brodeur was not himself. This time, Scott Gomez helped bail him out.

Gomez scored with 7:06 remaining in overtime, helping the New Jersey Devils even their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Tampa Bay Lightning at two games apiece with a 4-3 victory.

Zach Parise netted two goals and rookie Travis Zajac added a pair of assists for New Jersey, which hosts pivotal Game Five on Friday.

"It's a big momentum-shifter for us," said Brodeur, who finished with 30 saves. "You lose that, you're down 3-1. Now it's 2-2 and a different ballgame, so we're definitely happy about the situation we're in."

"We knew this was a game that could go either way," Devils coach Lou Lamoriello said. "This win puts us back with home ice. There's always an advantage to being at home. ... To say this was an important game for us would be an understatement."

A two-time Vezina Trophy winner and three-time Stanley Cup champion, Brodeur has been suspect throughout this series, allowing at least one soft goal in each of the first three games. He continued the trend in this one, misplaying Eric Perrin's wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle just over 12 minutes into the first period for a 1-1 tie.

Parise scored the next two goals to raise his playoff total to six and give the Devils a 3-1 advantage. But the Lightning turned to their stars as Martin St. Louis tallied at 11:39 of the second period and Vincent Lecavalier converted a nifty pass from Vaclav Prospal less than four minutes later to again knot the contest.

"When we surge, we want to capitalize, and we did," St. Louis said. "We got back in the game."

St. Louis also recorded an assist on Lecavalier's goal.

"Our team battled their (butts) off to get back in," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "I thought Martin St. Louis - I'd never seen a player take it over like he did to get us back."

After a scoreless third period in which Tampa Bay goaltender Johan Holmqvist made several big saves and got help from his goalpost, the Lightning were forced to kill a hooking penalty on defenseman Dan Boyle eight minutes into overtime. They successfully accomplished the feat for the sixth time in seven tries on the night but ultimately were unable to hold off the Devils.

"(Holmqvist) gave us a chance to still win in overtime and late in the third period because of his saves," Tampa Bay captain Tim Taylor said. "We can't allow that many opportunities."

"Holmer was tremendous," St. Louis added. "He gave us a chance to win again."

The Lightning, who received just three power-play opportunities - including one in the opening minute of the extra session, were unhappy with their undisciplined play.

"We took too many penalties," Taylor said. "If there are two things that we really need to play up in our game, obviously it's turnovers in the neutral zone and less penalties. They just put us back on our heels, and it takes a lot of momentum out of our hockey team."

"You'd think there would be more penalties called if (the referees are) going to call it that tight one way," said Tampa Bay center Brad Richards, who extended his playoff points streak to 13 games with an assist. "But I don't see it the same way they do. I'm obviously biased."

Gomez, who scored just 13 goals during the regular season after netting a career-high 33 in 2005-06, started the winning play by blocking Lightning blue-liner Cory Sarich's shot in the offensive zone. The 1998 first-round pick led a 2-on-1 rush down the left wing and, instead of passing, fired a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Holmqvist for his first tally of the series.

"The shot (by Sarich) hit me in the foot and it went to the perfect spot," Gomez said. "I was thinking pass, I saw Brian (Gionta). (The puck) wobbled at the end and I just wanted to get it on net. I didn't even see it go in. That's playoff hockey, you have to have a bounce go your way."

"Gomez blocks the shot and it was a great shot (to win it)," said Lamoriello, whose team improved to 9-4 in Game Fours when down two games to one in a series. "He put it in a perfect spot. He just snapped it."

New Jersey, which never led in Game Three, opened the scoring in this one. Holmqvist stopped rookie defenseman Johnny Oduya's slap shot from the left point, but Gionta got the rebound and beat the netminder low to the glove side from the doorstep at 6:04.

The lead lasted just over six minutes as Devils captain Patrik Elias gave away the puck to Perrin, whose wrister beat Brodeur high to the glove side at 12:08, evening the game at 1-1.

Parise kicked off his second two-goal effort of the series with 5:40 left in the first, converting a cross-ice pass by defenseman Paul Martin from the right side of the net. The 22-year-old doubled New Jersey's advantage at 9:42 of the second, redirecting rookie blue-liner Andy Greene's blast from above the slot past Holmqvist during a power play.

"My first goal was a great passing play by Travis and Paul," Parise said. "I didn't see Paul coming up there. He was driving to the net and he just put it on my stick, so it was a nice play by him. My second one, I just was able to tip the puck over his glove."

St. Louis answered 1:57 later, tipping defenseman Filip Kuba's shot from above the right circle by Brodeur for his third of the series. Lecavalier made it 3-3 with 4:40 to go in the session, burying Prospal's cross-crease pass from the right side of the net for his fifth postseason tally.

After combining for 95 goals during the regular season, St. Louis and Lecavalier have netted of the Lightning's 12 tallies in the series.

"Every time we play Tampa Bay, they're going to get their chances," Gomez said. "Vinny is the best player in the NHL right now."

Holmqvist kept the game even with huge saves on Elias early in the third and Gomez from alone in front midway through the period. John Madden nearly snapped the tie with 2:40 remaining, but his shot rang off the right goalpost.

"We threw everything except the kitchen sink at him," Brodeur said. "We had some great chances, but he was unbelievable. He was really sharp and he was in the game all night."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 2 1 0 1 4
    TAMPA BAY 1 2 0 0 3 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 2 (JOHNNY ODUYA, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    6:04
    TAM - ERIC PERRIN 1 (UNASSISTED) 12:08
    NJD - ZACH PARISE 5 (PAUL MARTIN, TRAVIS ZAJAC) 14:20
    2ND PR

    Apr 18 10:11 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 4
    TAMPA BAY 3
    OT: NJD - SCOTT GOMEZ 1 (UNASSISTED) 12:54

    Apr 18 10:10 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 4
    TAMPA BAY 3
    OT: NJD - SCOTT GOMEZ 1 (UNASSISTED) 12:54

    Devils vs. LightningApr 18 10:10 PM
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    Devils vs. LightningApr 18 9:58 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 2 1 0 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 2 0 3 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 2 (JOHNNY ODUYA, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    6:04
    TAM - ERIC PERRIN 1 (UNASSISTED) 12:08
    NJD - ZACH PARISE 5 (PAUL MARTIN, TRAVIS ZAJAC) 14:20
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) ZACH PARISE 6 (

    Apr 18 9:35 PM
  • 55
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 40 roots

    Devils vs. LightningApr 18 9:26 PM
  • 15
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    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Devils vs. LightningApr 18 9:22 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 2 1 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 2 (JOHNNY ODUYA, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    6:04
    TAM - ERIC PERRIN 1 (UNASSISTED) 12:08
    NJD - ZACH PARISE 5 (PAUL MARTIN, TRAVIS ZAJAC) 14:20
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) ZACH PARISE 6 (AN

    Apr 18 8:44 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 3
    TAMPA BAY 3
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 5 (VACLAV PROSPAL, MARTIN ST. LOUIS)
    15:20

    Devils vs. LightningApr 18 8:36 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 3
    TAMPA BAY 2
    2ND PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 3 (FILIP KUBA, BRAD RICHARDS) 11:39

    Devils vs. LightningApr 18 8:28 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 3
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) ZACH PARISE 6 (ANDREW GREENE, TRAVIS ZAJAC) 9:42

    Devils vs. LightningApr 18 8:22 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 2 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 2 (JOHNNY ODUYA, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    6:04
    TAM - ERIC PERRIN 1 (UNASSISTED) 12:08
    NJD - ZACH PARISE 5 (PAUL MARTIN, TRAVIS ZAJAC) 14:20
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD

    Apr 18 7:47 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 2
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 5 (PAUL MARTIN, TRAVIS ZAJAC) 14:20

    Devils vs. LightningApr 18 7:36 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - ERIC PERRIN 1 (UNASSISTED) 12:08

    Devils vs. LightningApr 18 7:33 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 1
    TAMPA BAY 0
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 2 (JOHNNY ODUYA, BRIAN RAFALSKI) 6:04

    Devils vs. LightningApr 18 7:20 PM