for this game

Red-hot Senators ruin Devils' home opener

Oct 28, 2007 - 3:45 AM
By Joe Rizzo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- "The Rock" is open.

Shean Donovan snapped a third-period tie and Martin Gerber made 31 saves to help the Ottawa Senators to a 4-1 win, spoiling the New Jersey Devils' first game in the new Prudential Center.

After a quarter-century in the Meadowlands, the Devils opened their $380 million building in downtown Newark. The result was the same as it was in their last game in the old building - a triumph by the Senators.

Coming off a defeat in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Anaheim Ducks, the Senators remained on fire, winning for the ninth time in 10 games to open the season. During its playoff run last campaign, Ottawa closed out its Eastern Conference semifinal series with New Jersey by winning the last hockey game played at Continental Airlines Arena.

Donovan's shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle eluded goaltender Martin Brodeur with 13:28 remaining, giving the scorching Senators a 2-1 lead.

Gerber made it stand up with another solid effort. The Swiss netminder made 18 saves in the opening period to help Ottawa withstand the adrenaline rush New Jersey had in its first home game of the season after opening with a franchise-record nine on the road.

"The comfort level is much higher this year," said Gerber, who has taken advantage of an injury to Ray Emery to secure the No. 1 goaltending job. "You start from scratch, flip the page and try to learn from it and get better in the summer. The way it worked out, I had to play a lot."

Mike Fisher added an insurance goal, his third of the season, during a power play with 6:26 left, putting a rebound into an open left side of the net to make it 3-1. Captain Daniel Alfredsson sealed the win in the final seconds with a shorthanded empty-netter.

Brian Gionta received credit for the Devils' first goal in their new home, but he had some help. With New Jersey on a power play, Gionta ripped a wrist shot from the right circle that Gerber got a pad on, but the rebound went off the right skate of defenseman Anton Volchenkov and into the net with six minutes remaining in the second period.

"Gionta came down the wing and tried before to lay it on my pad," Gerber said. "I thought it was cleared."

Senators blue-liner Andrej Meszaros secured his place in history by scoring the first goal in the new arena, opening the scoring 5:01 into the second period with a one-timer through traffic from above the slot.

While many finishing touches on the building will have to wait, the deadline for the home opener was met. Workers were bolting in seats up until an hour before faceoff, when the gates opened. About the only complaint by fans was that it took a long time to enter the building.

Once inside, they saw state-of-the-art amenities. The reported crowd was a sellout of 17,600, although it appeared there were some empty seats.

"It's like they took the best features from every building around the league," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

"It's an unbelievable facility," New Jersey's John Madden said. "The fans are going to enjoy it. ... What makes it home is the car ride, sleeping in your own bed and doing the things you do every day."

The Devils will not have to leave the area until November 12, when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins. New Jersey plays four of its next six games at home, with the road contests taking place in New York against the Rangers and Islanders.

After returning from the Steel City, the Devils play two more home games before a three-game road trip.

"The fans were into it, but it's going to take a while to have the fans get used to coming here," said New Jersey's Patrik Elias, whose scoring struggles have been made the prime example of the team's lack of offense.

"One thing you can't teach is, teach guys how to score goals," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "The way we play allows us to create offensive opportunities. I'm tired of excuses being made for everybody. We need to get more from some guys."

As expected, Brodeur received the loudest ovation during pregame introductions. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner finished with 23 saves as New Jersey lost its fourth straight game.

"We came out strong and probably deserved a better outcome than 0-0 after the first period," Brodeur said of the Devils' slow start. "It's concerning for you when you have three wins in 10 games. Right now, it's definitely a tough time."






  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Senators 4, Devils 1  FinalMar 4 8:31 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 1 3 4
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: OTT - ANDREJ MESZAROS 2 (JASON SPEZZA, DANY HEATLEY) 5:01
    NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 3 (PATRIK ELIAS, PAUL MARTIN) 14:00
    3RD PRD: OTT - SHEAN DONOVAN 2 (CHRIS KELLY, ANTOINE VERMETTE) 6:32
    OTT - (PP) MIKE F

    Oct 27 9:41 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 4
    NEW JERSEY 1
    3RD PRD: OTT - (SH) (EN) DANIEL ALFREDSSON 7 (UNASSISTED) 19:58

    Senators vs. DevilsOct 27 9:40 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 3
    NEW JERSEY 1
    3RD PRD: OTT - (PP) MIKE FISHER 3 (CHRISTOPH SCHUBERT, PATRICK EAVES)
    13:34

    Senators vs. DevilsOct 27 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    NEW JERSEY 1
    3RD PRD: OTT - SHEAN DONOVAN 2 (CHRIS KELLY, ANTOINE VERMETTE) 6:32

    Senators vs. DevilsOct 27 9:13 PM
  • stoowie how do you watch the game online?

    Senators vs. DevilsOct 27 8:48 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 1 1
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: OTT - ANDREJ MESZAROS 2 (JASON SPEZZA, DANY HEATLEY) 5:01
    NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 3 (PATRIK ELIAS, PAUL MARTIN) 14:00
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT

    Oct 27 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    NEW JERSEY 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN GIONTA 3 (PATRIK ELIAS, PAUL MARTIN) 14:00

    Senators vs. DevilsOct 27 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    NEW JERSEY 0
    2ND PRD: OTT - ANDREJ MESZAROS 2 (JASON SPEZZA, DANY HEATLEY) 5:01

    Senators vs. DevilsOct 27 8:22 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 5 5
    NJD 18 18
    GOALIES: OTT - MARTIN GERBER
    NJD - MARTIN BRODEUR

    Oct 27 7:55 PM