for this game

Devils eliminate Lightning in six games

Apr 23, 2007 - 7:16 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Martin Brodeur won't have to worry about Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis again this season.

Brodeur made 32 saves and Brian Gionta scored twice as the New Jersey Devils advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Six.

A two-time Vezina Trophy winner and three-time Stanley Cup champion, Brodeur uncharacteristically allowed three goals in each of the first four games of the series. Lecavalier and St. Louis were his biggest headache as the duo combined for eight tallies.

However, Brodeur made 31 saves in a vintage performance en route to 22nd career postseason shutout Friday in Game Five to give the Devils the series lead. Less than 48 hours later, he had a hand in sending the Lightning home for the summer.

"I said all along that he (Brodeur) was the difference-maker," Devils coach Lou Lamoriello said. "There was no difference in his performance the last two games. A bounce here, a bounce there, that's all a part of the game."

Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella agreed with Lamoriello.

"Brodeur is the difference in the last two games," Tortorella said. "I don't think he was totally on his game through the first four (games). He made a couple of big saves. That was the difference."

Brodeur stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period, helping the second-seeded Devils preserve a 3-2 lead and advance to the conference semifinals for a meeting with the fourth-seeded Ottawa Senators.

"This wasn't easy by any means," Brodeur said. "I think we were on the verge of giving them the series in Game Four. We go into overtime and pull it off with a big goal and from there we never looked back. We worked hard and played physical and did the things we needed to do for the win."

It was Brodeur's 93rd career playoff win, moving him past Grant Fuhr into sole possesion of second place on the all-time list behind only Hall of Famer Patrick Roy (151).

After scoring a power-play goal in the first period, Gionta tallied at 5:49 of the middle session to give the Devils a 3-1 lead.

Brad Richards scored a pair of power-play goals just over five minutes apart in the second period for seventh-seeded Tampa Bay, which lost in the quarterfinals for the second straight season.

With under a minute remaining in the first period, Brodeur left Lecavalier frustrated, making a glove save on the superstar while sprawled alongside the ice.

Showing his displeasure, Lecavalier took a cross-checking penalty seconds later. St. Louis was whistled for unsportsmanlike penalty on the same play.

"We know he's (Lecavalier) a competitor, he wants to score goals," Devils defenseman Richard Matvichuk said. "I'm glad we only have play him a couple of games each season. If we played a lot of games against him, it would get old."

After Jason Ward landed in the penalty box for hooking just over a minute into the second period, the Devils cashed in on a brief two-man advantage to take a 2-0 lead when defenseman Brian Rafalski rifled a one-timer by goaltender Johan Holmqvist from the slot at 1:21.

Blanked in their previous five periods and one overtime session by Brodeur, the Lightning pulled within 2-1 at 5:10 of the middle session on Richards' second goal of the the series.

Just 39 seconds later, Gionta restored a two-goal lead for the Devils, taking a feed from captain Patrik Elias in the left circle and lifting a shot over Holmqvist for his fifth goal of the series.

"Those were two great plays. Rafalski had a lot of patience and on the second one, Patrik (Elias) drove the net and I got a good pass across the ice," Gionta said.

Elias had three assists and Scott Gomez, who turned the momentum of the series with his overtime goal in Game Four here, set up a pair of tallies

"Even when we were down 2-1 (in series) there never was a panic," Gomez said. "We've been in that situation before. It was a total team effort. We beat a great team."

Richards beat Brodeur with a slap shot from the right point with 9:14 left in the middle period, pulling the Lightning within 3-2.

However, Tampa Bay was unable to get the equalizer in the third against Brodeur, whose biggest stop over the final 20 minutes came on Filip Kuba from the bottom of the left circle with 6:45 remaining.

Holmqvist, considered the Lightning's biggest weakness entering the series, made 23 saves. The Swede gave up 18 goals in the series, getting outplayed by Brodeur in each of the last three contests.

"(Brodeur) played really well throughout the series and Holmqvist played really well, too," St. Louis said. "Both goaltenders kept their teams in the game."






  • jtlynchjr Yeah, they really were spent and NJ was able to shut it down in the end.

    Devils vs. LightningApr 22 4:04 PM
  • bones too many double-shifts there at the end for the lightning stars; i've never seen such slow empty-net skating

    Devils vs. LightningApr 22 3:52 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 1 2 0 3
    TAMPA BAY 0 2 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 4 (PATRIK ELIAS, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    14:29
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN RAFALSKI 2 (PATRIK ELIAS, SCOTT GOMEZ) 1:21
    TAM - (PP) BRAD RICHARDS 2 (FILIP KUBA, VACLAV PROSPAL) 5:10
    NJD - BRIAN

    Apr 22 3:50 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 3RD 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 1 2 0 3
    TAMPA BAY 0 2 0 2 END OF THE 3RD
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 4 (PATRIK ELIAS, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    14:29
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN RAFALSKI 2 (PATRIK ELIAS, SCOTT GOMEZ) 1:21
    TAM - (PP) BRAD RICHARDS 2 (FILIP KUBA, VACLAV PROSPAL) 5:1

    Apr 22 3:49 PM
  • 25
    roots
    bones Added 5 roots

    Devils vs. LightningApr 22 3:45 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Devils vs. LightningApr 22 3:45 PM
  • 5
    roots
    jtlynchjr Added 5 roots

    Devils vs. LightningApr 22 3:38 PM
  • jtlynchjr Tampa is down and almost out but pressing and playing with intensity late to see if they can get the tie.

    Devils vs. LightningApr 22 3:38 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 1 2 3
    TAMPA BAY 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 4 (PATRIK ELIAS, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    14:29
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN RAFALSKI 2 (PATRIK ELIAS, SCOTT GOMEZ) 1:21
    TAM - (PP) BRAD RICHARDS 2 (FILIP KUBA, VACLAV PROSPAL) 5:1

    Apr 22 2:53 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 3
    TAMPA BAY 2
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) BRAD RICHARDS 3 (FILIP KUBA, VINCENT LECAVALIER)
    10:46

    Devils vs. LightningApr 22 2:40 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 3
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - BRIAN GIONTA 5 (PATRIK ELIAS, SCOTT GOMEZ) 5:49

    Devils vs. LightningApr 22 2:28 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 2
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) BRAD RICHARDS 2 (FILIP KUBA, VACLAV PROSPAL) 5:10

    Devils vs. LightningApr 22 2:27 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 2
    TAMPA BAY 0
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN RAFALSKI 2 (PATRIK ELIAS, SCOTT GOMEZ) 1:21

    Devils vs. LightningApr 22 2:20 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 4 (PATRIK ELIAS, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    14:29
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD 9 9
    TAM 11 11
    GOALIES: NJD

    Apr 22 2:00 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 1
    TAMPA BAY 0
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 4 (PATRIK ELIAS, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    14:29

    Devils vs. LightningApr 22 1:47 PM