Senators end Devils' perfect home playoff mark of 8-0

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The Ottawa Senators were short on

cash in the regular season. Now they're rich with momentum in the

Eastern Conference finals.

width=8 rowspan=2> 

src="" width=65 height=90

border=0 alt="Chris Phillips">

size="-2" color="#666666">Phillips

Defenseman Chris Phillips scored 15:51 into overtime to lift the

Senators to a 2-1 victory Wednesday night and force a Game 7 on

Friday in Ottawa. It was the second straight game the Senators

fought off elimination.

"Even when we were down 3-1, there was not one guy in our

dressing room or organization that counted ourselves out,"

Phillips said.

Vaclav Varada was trying to hit the loose puck in front of

Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, but all he was making contact with

was the New Jersey goalie. Trailing the play, Phillips found the

loose puck behind Varada and fired it into the net.

"I was just able to get in there and get a whack at it,"

Phillips said. "I didn't even realize it went in until the other

guys started celebrating."

Patrick Lalime kept the Senators alive in the extra session by

fighting off several New Jersey flurries. The biggest threat came

from Brian Gionta, who was stopped on a 2-on-1 with Patrik Elias.

New Jersey, trying to reach the Stanley Cup finals for the third

time in four years, has never lost a series in which it led 3-1.

The Senators have never advanced this far in the playoffs in their

11-year history.

"We have to play one game. That's going to be the hardest

game," said forward Marian Hossa who assisted on both Ottawa

goals. "We're going to be home and that's a good thing."

The West champion Anaheim Mighty Ducks haven't played since last

Friday, but will face the winner on the road in Game 1 of the

finals on Tuesday night.

"That's all we wanted to do, to have practice tomorrow,"

forward Bryan Smolinski said.

There have been 17 comebacks from 3-1 deficits, including three

in this year's playoffs.

"We have a big Game 7 ahead of us and we have to start thinking

about that," said Joe Nieuwendyk, who scored the Devils' goal.

The Senators, 4-0 in overtime in the postseason, filed for

bankruptcy and were late with players' paychecks during the season.

Now they have squared the series.

"We like our odds going back home, but we know we are going to

have to be better," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said.

"They are a veteran team that's going to come to Ottawa and play

their best."

The Devils were beaten on the road in Game 5 and then sustained

their first home loss in this postseason following an 8-0 start.

New Jersey sports 15 players who have won the Stanley Cup compared

to only one on the Senators.

"We're a good hockey club when our backs are up against the

wall," Devils forward John Madden said. "Sad to say, but that's

what it takes sometimes to see the character of this team."

Despite choppy ice that had to be attended to several times

during the game, both goalies were sharp. A daytime college

graduation held at the arena left holes in the ice in the neutral


In making 30 saves, Lalime looked more like the goalie who held

opponents to two goals or fewer in 11 straight playoff games than

the one who yielded 10 goals to the Devils in three consecutive

losses after Game 1.

Brodeur made 32 saves for New Jersey and has allowed just nine

goals in nine home playoff games.

New Jersey, on its first two-game losing streak of the playoffs,

tied it in the third period when Wade Redden was off for


On the power play, Scott Niedermayer sent the puck behind the

net to Jeff Friesen. He tried to slide the puck in front, but it

bounced off Senators defenseman Karel Rachunek, kneeling in front

of him.

The puck caromed into the pads of Lalime and out to Nieuwendyk,

who slid it back between the goalie's pads at 2:41 for his 60th

playoff goal. The Devils are just 3-of-21 on the power play in the


Nieuwendyk almost scored earlier, but Lalime stopped a breakaway

in the second period. Nieuwendyk left the ice with assistance after

the game due to an injury sustained in overtime.

Ottawa took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal. The Senators

failed on their first 20 power-play attempts of the series before

rookie Jason Spezza scored in Game 5 to seal Ottawa's 3-1 victory

on Monday.

The Senators were 1-for-23 when Radek Bonk put the Senators in


Brodeur failed on a clearing attempt, and Hossa worked the puck

over to Bonk in the left circle. Bonk sneaked a shot between

Brodeur's pads.

Both teams had early chances that were turned away either by the

goalies or the posts.

Devils defenseman Colin White sent a fluttering shot from the

left point that got through and hit the crossbar less than four

minutes in. White also took the blame for leaving the front of the

net clear on the winning goal.

Jamie Langenbrunner hit the post in the third period as he was

seeking his first goal of the series for New Jersey after getting

seven in the first two rounds. Hossa also found the crossbar after

deflecting a shot in front late in the third.

Game notes

D Ken Daneyko and RW Turner Stevenson returned to the New

Jersey lineup, replacing D Richard Smehlik and LW Jim McKenzie. ...

Hossa, Ottawa's leading playoff scorer, hasn't scored in nine

games. His longest drought in the regular season was seven. ...

Ottawa had 13 shots in the first period, but only 14 more the rest

of regulation.