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New Jersey at Ottawa

Senators inflict some damage on Devils' playoff hopes

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

OTTAWA -- The New Jersey Devils are happy to be done with Ottawa.

They entered this game on a tear, winning 23 of their last 28 (23-3-2). Now, they've lost to the last-place Senators for the second time in nine days after Ottawa's 3-1 win Thursday.

Eastern Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1z-Pittsburgh487233
2y-Montreal486326
3y-Washington485724
4x-Boston486224
5x-Toronto485726
6x-N.Y. Rangers485622
7x-Ottawa485621
8x-N.Y. Islanders485520
Eliminated
9o-Winnipeg485122
10o-Philadelphia484922
11o-New Jersey484817
12o-Buffalo484814
13o-Carolina484218
14o-Tampa Bay484017
15o-Florida483612
Complete Playoff Race >>

"Those are points that we were counting on," New Jersey's Patrik Elias said. "For whatever reason we had a hard time playing both games against them. It's tough."

Chris Neil scored two third-period goals.

The Devils are six points behind the eighth-place Buffalo Sabres for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

"Every point is so important," Dainius Zubrus said. "Every night is a must win for us and now we've lost two to them."

Ryan Shannon also scored for the Senators and Curtis McElhinney, making his second start for Ottawa, made 33 saves.

"It's kind of nice to make things tough for other teams," Neil said. "We knew they were playing really well and we're pretty happy to come out with the two points."

Brian Rolston scored for the Devils. Martin Brodeur stopped 23 shots.

Ottawa was unable to score on a 49-second two-man advantage late in the first period, but the Senators made the most of the remainder of their power play as Shannon, standing right on the lip of the crease, tipped in Jason Spezza's shot for a 1-0 lead.

Brodeur and McElhinney were at their best in the second, making a number of point-blank saves. Brodeur needed to make a big save on Spezza early in the period and a glove save on Marek Svatos later.

McElhinney looked great with a big stick save on Travis Zajac, then later he stopped Zubrus with the Devils on the power play.

"He made a couple of real timely saves," Senators coach Cory Clouston said of McElhinney's performance. "He was patient tonight and to me that was the most important thing."

The Senators took a 2-0 lead 55 seconds into the third when Erik Karlsson shot from the boards and Neil knocked the puck out of the air and past Brodeur. The play was reviewed, and officials ruled Neil's stick was below the crossbar when it hit the puck.

"I knew I didn't touch it," Neil said. "I was waiting for it to come down, but the way it was going I just needed to follow it."

The Devils appeared to cut the lead in half less than a minute later, but Colin White's apparent goal was waved off due to goaltender interference.

New Jersey finally beat McElhinney a few minutes later on a power play with Rolston's shot from just inside the blue line.

McElhinney made a huge stop on Ilya Kovalchuk late in the third to preserve the lead, before Neil added an empty-netter.

Notes

  • The Senators were without RW Daniel Alfredsson (back, indefinite), C Peter Regin (shoulder, season), LW Milan Michalek (lower body, indefinite), G Pascal Leclaire (lower body, indefinite), and D Matt Carkner (knee, indefinite).
  • Devils D Mark Fraser and C Rod Pelley were healthy scratches.
  • Devils C Travis Zajac played in his 389th consecutive game and surpassed Ken Daneyko's record of 388 for the franchise most.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Chris Neil celebrates his first goal of the night and what turns out to be the eventual winner. (Getty Images)
Chris Neil celebrates his first goal of the night and what turns out to be the eventual winner. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
New Jersey (33-33-4)0011
Ottawa  (26-36-9) «1023
Three Stars
C. McElhinney
OTT


Saves: 33
Save Pct.: .971
C. Neil
OTT


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
R. Shannon
OTT


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
19:02Power Play - Ryan Shannon (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Spezza, Foligno
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
55.0 - Chris Neil (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Karlsson, Smith
05:02Power Play - Brian Rolston (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Josefson, Elias
19:22 - Chris Neil (5), Empty Net. Assist: Spezza, Greening
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
16:58Elias, 2 min, High-Sticking
18:09Volchenkov, 2 min, Delay of Game
2ND PERIOD
10:45Karlsson, 2 min, Hooking
16:34Smith, 2 min, Holding
3RD PERIOD
04:36Greening, 2 min, Hooking
11:13Kovalchuk, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
Shots On Goal
 123T
NJ10111334
OTT931325
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Martin Brodeur59:16222
Curtis McElhinney60:00331
Game Information
Attendance - 17758
Referees - Stephane Auger, Chris Lee
Linesmen - Steve Barton, Tim Nowak
 
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