Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sens find a solution to Brodeur for one night

The Ottawa Senators finally found a way to get one past the solid wall of New Jersey known as Martin Brodeur.

Ever since they had a four goal explosion in game one, the Sens have discovered that when Brodeur is back on his game it’s a tough task to put a rubber disk behind him.

Monday night the Sens were left shaking their heads early on, as they found one goal called back after review and another disallowed as the period had ended, with few goals making it behind the Jersey minder losing one on a television replay is particularly frustrating.

Yet they continued on through the game, taking their share of the Jersey zone, peppering Brodeur with shots and then skating away in marvel at how he stymied them again and again.

Success finally came in the second period as Mike Fisher cut across the front of the Devils net, his skate clipping Brodeur on the skate as he set up just off the crease line in white ice, the brush by knocking him off balance long enough for Tom Preissing to snap a shot into the Devils net for a 1-0 lead, almost a sure thing victory in such a low scoring zone as the two teams were in.

Interpretations of the clip vary depending on which dressing room you have your ear against the door at. Of course the Devils say it was blatant goaltender interference, a penalty missed by the officials. Though to their credit they approached their complaints with a measured tone, no doubt realizing that a break is owed to them now and heated venting process probably won’t speed up the process.

Not that it has done anything to quiet the New York media on the issue.

The Ottawa dressing room of course saw things a little differently, incidental contact was the buzzword from the Sens room, that and an perceived shove into the goaltender as the root causes of any mistaken footwork in or near the crease.

Regardless of the controversial nature of the goal, it counted and when all is said and done it’s what appears in the summary that tells the tale. The Summary stated Ottawa 2 - New Jersey 0, Ottawa's second goal coming on an empty net shot by Jason Spezza late in the third.

The Sens now take a 2 games to 1 lead in the best of seven series, with Game four set for Wednesday night, providing Ottawa with a chance to get a stranglehold on the series with a big win.

The refs will no doubt be spoken to about the missed call, particular attention will be provided to both goaltenders on Wednesday night, to make sure that both teams keep on their best behavior while skating towards the blue paint of the crease.

Running the goaltender has become a cause celebre in this playoff, from Ottawa’s Ray Emery to Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo; there have been Domenic Hasek’s theatrics in the Detroit goal and now a controversial clip of future Hall of Famer Brodeur.

All of it is a testimony to the attention that the cream of the NHL goaltender crop get when playoff time comes around.

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