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Devils Squeak by Senators

May 16, 2003|From Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New Jersey Devils overcame the strangest no-goal of the playoffs and a wacky near goal to grab the lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

The Ottawa Senators had top defenseman Wade Redden back from an injury and some luck on their side, but that wasn't enough as they lost, 1-0, Thursday night.

Sergei Brylin scored on a deflection, his first goal of the playoffs for the Devils, who lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.

By the NHL's admission, Jay Pandolfo should have given the Devils a 2-0 lead in the first period. But his shot that went in the net wasn't detected before it bounced out.

Martin Brodeur made 24 saves for his fourth shutout of these playoffs. Patrick Lalime stopped 23 shots for Ottawa.

The Senators have lost consecutive playoff games for the first time this year.

Bryan Smolinski nearly gave the Senators the lead in the first period.

His dump-in took a crazy carom off the right-wing boards and shot just wide of the left post as Brodeur was behind the net.

"I had a bad feeling," Brodeur said. "I don't know if you saw my reaction behind the net. I couldn't believe it didn't go in."

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