for this game

Heatley, Fisher put Senators in driver's seat

May 3, 2007 - 4:03 AM
OTTAWA (Ticker) -- Dany Heatley's shot against Martin Brodeur was unexpected. Now, the New Jersey Devils must accomplish the unexpected.

Heatley snapped a tie with a bad-angle goal with less than six minutes remaining in the second period and Mike Fisher added an insurance tally early in the third as the Ottawa Senators posted a 3-2 victory over the Devils on Wednesday to take a commanding three-games-to-one lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Captain Daniel Alfredsson also scored and Ray Emery made 29 saves for the Senators, who can advance to the conference finals for the second time in four seasons with a triumph in Game Five at New Jersey on Saturday.

"We're confident, but confident is just a word," Heatley said. "We're not cocky or overconfident, but we feel we have a great team here. We'll be able to do the job if we keep doing the right things."

"We may have the momentum and they're on their heels, but they've got nothing to lose," Alfredsson added. "I'm sure they're going to come out that way on Saturday."

Ironically, Ottawa's only other conference finals appearance came in 2003, when it erased a three-games-to-one deficit against New Jersey, only to lose the deciding seventh game at home. The Devils must now do the same in this series just to force a Game Seven in their building.

"Fortunately, it's nice to go back home when you face a situation like that," Brodeur said. "We'll see if we can pull one out and go from there. We'll have to take it step by step. We're looking at the end of the tunnel and we can't afford any mistakes."

"We put ourselves in this position, so there's no one to blame and we have to be responsible," Devils captain Patrik Elias said. "We just have to find a way to win."

With New Jersey's back against the wall, the veteran Brodeur issued a challenge to his teammates.

"Everyone has to come out and play their best game for three games in a row," he said. "It's up to every individual to get themselves ready to be able to accomplish this feat. There's not much to lose now. It's a great opportunity to do something great.

"They're expected to win and we expect them to beat us. So obviously, we don't want to lose, but if we're able to create something great, we'll be able to talk about it for a long time."

Comebacks of this sort are not exactly foreign to the Devils, who rallied from a three-games-to-one deficit against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2000 conference finals and went on to win the second of their three Stanley Cup championships.

Coming off their second consecutive home shutout this postseason - a 25-save performance by Emery in Game Three on Monday - the Senators grabbed an early lead in this one as Alfredsson netted his 34th career playoff goal 4 1/2 minutes into the contest.

But Brian Gionta ended Ottawa's shutout streak at Scotiabank Place at 152 minutes, 33 seconds, when he scored his league-leading eighth tally at 4:17 of the second period to knot the game at 1-1.

Just over 10 minutes later, the Senators caught Brodeur off-guard for the go-ahead tally. Following a faceoff in the right circle, Alfredsson chased down the puck behind the net, forcing defenseman Brad Lukowich to quickly fire it up the right wing boards.

Heatley intercepted and unleashed a shot toward an unsuspecting Brodeur, who had the puck carom off his right skate and into the net with 5:16 to go in the session, giving the Senators a 2-1 edge.

"I was trying to hit (Jason) Spezza back door," Heatley said. "Alfie had good pressure. I don't know if he bumped it to me or the defense just reversed it, but I had a little time, so I thought I could hit (Spezza) back door with a quick play. I just kind of spun it too much and it got a good bounce off the side of (Brodeur's) skate."

"Heatley surprised everybody out there," Alfredsson added. "He got off a hard shot and caught Brodeur off-guard a little bit. That was a big goal for us."

Brodeur admitted he had no idea a shot was coming but also claimed the goal did not rattle him.

"I don't know if he was shooting the puck or trying to hit (Spezza) back door," Brodeur said. "I just didn't see it. I saw him going up the boards a little bit. When I looked at that, the puck was through me already. I try not to dwell on it too much because you can't stop every single puck."

Ottawa maintained the advantage until 3:58 of the third, when Fisher entered the offensive zone and beat the Vezina and Hart Trophy finalist high to the glove side with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle for a 3-1 bulge.

"I wanted to get into the zone between their defense and just get a quick shot off," Fisher said. "The defense might have screened him, so he didn't see it. It came off the blade pretty good and found a spot over his glove. I was just trying to get it through as best as I could."

"I think he shot it right through (defenseman Andy) Greene," Brodeur said. "I think it was a gap problem there with him flying through the middle. He got a lot of wood on the shot."

Both tallies could be considered soft ones against Brodeur, who gave up his share of those types of goals in the first three games of the conference quarterfinals against Tampa Bay before returning to his usual dominant postseason form.

"I had a lot of work and they had a lot of shots again," said Brodeur, who finished with 33 saves. "We competed better today than we did in previous games."

Nominated for the Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward, Jay Pandolfo drew the Devils within one at 9:36, deflecting defenseman Paul Martin's wrister from the right point past Emery. The goal came on New Jersey's first official shot of the period.

But the Devils hurt their chances to get the equalizer, as defenseman Colin White and Jim Dowd committed penalties 74 seconds apart late in the session, and managed just three shots in the game's final minutes - all by Elias.

Entering with a 3-1 record at home this postseason, the Senators jumped in front at 4:34 of the opening period. From behind the net, Heatley dished to Alfredsson, whose shot from the low slot found the top right corner for his fifth goal of the playoffs.

"Heatley made a great pass and I just tried to get it up quick," Alfredsson said. "I thought I would be able to beat (Brodeur) high. When the puck was behind the net, he couldn't come out and challenge me. He had to go down when I got the puck."

Travis Zajac nearly tied the game for the Devils, but his shot at 7:22 rang off the goalpost. However, Gionta came through during a power play early in the second with his sixth tally in seven games to even it at 1-1.

Elias grabbed the puck low in the right circle after it bounced off the boards and past defenseman Chris Phillips and fired a shot that Emery stopped. Gionta, who began this postseason with eight goals in 44 playoff games, buried the rebound from the doorstep to double his career total.

"It was a 2-on-2 with me and Patty," Gionta said. "I chipped it in and it took a funny bounce off the wall. Patty got it and took a shot on net, and it bounced right back out to me."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 1 2
    OTTAWA 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 5 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SPEZZA) 4:34
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 8 (PATRIK ELIAS, MARTIN BRODEUR)
    4:17
    OTT - DANY HEATLEY 5 (UNASSISTED) 14:44
    3RD PRD: OTT - MIKE FISHER 1 (WADE

    May 2 9:46 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Devils vs. SenatorsMay 2 9:37 PM
  • 5
    roots
    AFaust3 Added 5 roots

    Devils vs. SenatorsMay 2 9:28 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 2
    OTTAWA 3
    3RD PRD: NJD - JAY PANDOLFO 1 (PAUL MARTIN, SERGEI BRYLIN) 9:36

    Devils vs. SenatorsMay 2 9:21 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 1
    OTTAWA 3
    3RD PRD: OTT - MIKE FISHER 1 (WADE REDDEN, RAY EMERY) 3:58

    Devils vs. SenatorsMay 2 9:09 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 1
    OTTAWA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 5 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SPEZZA) 4:34
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 8 (PATRIK ELIAS) 4:17
    OTT - DANY HEATLEY 5 (UNASSISTED) 14:44
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD T

    May 2 8:44 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 1
    OTTAWA 2
    2ND PRD: OTT - DANY HEATLEY 5 (UNASSISTED) 14:44

    Devils vs. SenatorsMay 2 8:36 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 1
    OTTAWA 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 8 (PATRIK ELIAS) 4:17

    Devils vs. SenatorsMay 2 8:15 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 0
    OTTAWA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 5 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SPEZZA) 4:34
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD 9 9
    OTT 9 9
    GOALIES: NJD - MA

    May 2 7:49 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NEW JERSEY 0
    OTTAWA 1
    1ST PRD: OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 5 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SPEZZA) 4:34

    Devils vs. SenatorsMay 2 7:19 PM