NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Ottawa
(Tuesday, March 28th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Ottawa 2 (SO)
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Scott Gomez scored the only goal in the shootout to lead the New Jersey Devils to an important 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.
John Madden and Brian Gionta both scored unassisted goals for New Jersey, which has 81 points and now sit in a three-way tie for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with Tampa Bay and Montreal. New Jersey goaltender Marty Brodeur allowed two goals on 38 shots.
Dany Heatley scored both Ottawa goals. The Senators, who have already solidified a playoff berth, scored the tying goal inside the final minute of regulation and gained a point in their race with the Carolina Hurricanes for home ice advantage through the conference final round. Ottawa now leads idle Carolina by three points.
Ray Emery made 33 saves for Ottawa.
Trailing 2-1 with under a minute to play in the third period, the Senators got the equalizer on a Heatley deflection. Brian Pothier wound up from the point and released a high slap shot. On its way to the net, the puck was redirected by Heatley in the slot and bounced under Brodeur with 31 seconds to go.
After a scoreless overtime that included a jaw-dropping glove save by Brodeur and no goals through the first two rounds of the shootout, it was Gomez' turn.
The veteran forward skated straight in on Emery and pushed a backhander into his pads. Emery slid far enough back into the net with the puck under his glove that the referee ruled it a goal.
A lengthy review ensued before the call was upheld. Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson needed a goal to keep the game going, but Brodeur shut the door and New Jersey skated off with its second win in the last three games.
"I stopped it," said Emery. "It's just that I kept sliding back into the net. I was squeezing my knees and you can't really brace yourself or stop yourself when your squeezing like that so I tried to pop it out but I popped it out after it had just crossed the line. It is frustrating but we gave ourselves a chance to win and got a point out of it when it looked like we weren't going to."
The only goal through the first two-plus periods of the contest resulted from an unbelievable individual effort by Madden at the 13:26 mark of the opening period. With the Devils skating short-handed, Madden took his post at the top right of the four-man defensive box. When he attempted to block a shot from the point, his stick shattered.
Madden abruptly skated to his bench and was handed a replacement stick while the Senators passed back and forth along the blue line. When Madden returned to the action, he stole the puck directly off the stick of Alfredsson and went the other way on a breakaway before beating Emery through the five-hole.
The Senators knotted the contest with a power-play marker 3:41 into the third period. From the left half-wall, Alfredsson passed out to Heatley, whose one- timer from the right point hit the back of the cage for Heatley's 41st goal.
Less than three minutes later, a power-play marker by Gionta allowed the Devils to regain the lead. A shot by Gomez from along the goal line to the right of the net was saved by Emery, but Ottawa defenseman Andrej Meszaros whiffed on his clearing attempt from the crease. The puck went straight to Gionta, who pounced on it and rocketed in his 40th goal of the campaign from inside the right circle with 13:46 remaining in regulation.
"We needed the two points regardless if we gave one away," said Gionta. "I guess that is the team to do it (against), they're at the top, and not to a team that is chasing you. We got the two points that we needed tonight."
Ottawa blueliner Chris Phillips injured his left knee during a collision with Zach Parise and did not return...Alfredsson notched his 400th career assist...Heatley set career-highs for goals in a season (42) and power-play goals in a season (19)...Ottawa saw its five-game home win streak halted...Brodeur stopped six shots in overtime...The Devils finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Sens scored once on six chances with the extra skater...Attendance was 18,668.
03/29 01:00:59 ET