Senators 3, Devils 2
PRESIDENT’S 2 CENTS: Nine years to the day after the eighth-seeded Senators knocked off the first-place Devils 3-1 at the (then) Corel Centre to eliminate them in a six-game shocker, the home team comes through again. Devils still around from that 1998 team: Martin Brodeur and Sergei Brylin. Both got points tonight in a losing cause. As for the Sens? Alfie, Wade Redden and Chris Phillips were all there too as wide-eyed youngsters. Alfie got a goal tonight and Wade added a helper. Big Rig Phillips was the only 1998er to not get a point tonight, but in that game he did make the pass over to Igor Kravchuk for the empty-netter to seal the deal. Many say the Bank has never been louder, but a franchise-record 20,248 did take this one in … So Marty Brodeur showed tonight he was human after all, letting in that no-angler from Dany Heatley and that dribbler from Mike “Slewfoot” Fisher. That’s two straight games Mike has now figured in on the winning goal, but this time he scored, of course. If that wasn’t insult enough after the Heatley marker, how about Ray Emery re-taking the goalie points lead right back with a helper on the Fish goal, right after Marty tied him with an assist on Brian Gionta’s? … Speaking of the Gionta goal, that was a generous bounce off the boards as the puck found its way back to Tiny Brian. Notably, during a third period clearing attempt by the Sens, the puck struck roughly the same spot and sailed quite high in the air, safely out of harm’s way. Talk about bank shots at the Bank … Razor had no chance on Jay Pandolfo’s perfectly placed tip on the Paul Martin point shot. A well-deserved goal for this year’s hard-working Selke winner. Congrats, Jay … Speaking of hard workers, Chris Neil was on fire in the third. That third-period hit on Colin White which drew a retaliation penalty was a huge energy boost and an example of his fine physical presence. And how about that waltz around Travis Greene and Brian Rafalski before going wide on the backhand? He’s done that before a few times and can certainly do it again. As for Rafalski, another subpar effort tonight, posting a minus–2 and three giveaways. He’s still capable of doing better … On the subject of stats, Anton Volchenkov and Devils D Richard Matvichuk checked in with five and six blocked shots respectively. However, none was bigger than A-Train’s block on Patrik Elias, stoning him with under a minute left as Scott Gomez invaded the crease. All in all, a fantastic last two minutes … Gotta love the Jubliee commercials, if only because they show Spezza’s embarrassment of Jose Theodore against the Habs. That goal, folks, never gets old. What IS getting old is Elliotte Friedman’s post-game questions. Add Alfie to the list of Sens (Redden and Fish) who want to belt him, this time for this gem of a question: “Did you guys make a pool as to when Jason Spezza would block shots in back-to-back games?” Let us know when you log heavy minutes on the Cash Line, Elliotte … It was the first time since 1993 (Patrick Roy and Glenn Healy) that two goalies got points in the same playoff game. In ’93, of course, Roy’s Habs went on to take the Cup. Could the same happen here? … The shot of Mike Comrie going for a stick change before the 5-on-3 PP was amusing, as he was choosing between two equally bright shades of neon yellow … Bob Cole Obvious Line of the Night: “It was a soft goal, I would think, on a difficult-angle shot by Heatley.” I would, uh, think the same … young Devils sniper Zach Parise struggled tonight, but fellow youngster Paul Martin was great on D. He read Spezza’s pass intentions perfectly on one three-on-one and checked the biscuit out of harm’s way … Poor Oleg Saprykin – took a hit to make a play in a great second-period shift, got dumped after keeping the play alive, then got called for that sly trip on Matvichuk. Can’t catch a break, as after his penalty he was right on the doorstep at the end of the period but ran out of time … Unfortunately the stereotypes ring true in Ottawa, as a crowd shot of some caviar-lovin’, fifty-something 100-level patrons politely waved pom-poms in subtle fashion, in contrast to some high-up, jet-ducking, passionate shirtless fans with “SENS” on their chests. Wake up, lower deck, you can do better … Don Cherry Suit Rating: a perfect 10 out of 10! A very sharp. velvet red jacket with a white tie (with a maple leaf on it), white shirt and a rose corsage to boot. Nifty … Good play by Christoph Schubert to deck Jamie Langenbrunner, who had a fantastic short-side chance on Emery. Jamie’s a marked man after that OT winner two games ago … Last but not least: as Greg Millen pointed out tonight, nice to see good sportsmanship by Marty Brodeur to simply give Alfie a love tap, and not a vicious calf hack, to keep him out of the crease. Are you listening, Eddie Belfour?