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Senators push Devils to edge

| Thursday, May 3, 2007

OTTAWA -- Dany Heatley set up Daniel Alfredsson's goal, then scored unassisted, leading the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night for a 3-1 edge in their playoff series.

Heatley, Ottawa's two-time 50-goal scorer, took a shot from the right boards that struck Martin Brodeur's right skate and went between the goalie's pads late in the second period to give Ottawa a 2-1 edge. He also helped Alfredsson open the scoring 4:34 in with a centering pass from behind the net.

Mike Fisher added Ottawa's third goal in the third period, and Ray Emery stopped 29 shots.

Jay Pandolfo tipped Paul Martin's point shot past Emery midway into the third period to draw New Jersey within one. Brian Gionta had tied it 1-1 on a power play in the second period with his eighth goal of the playoffs.

Gionta's goal ended a 153:33 home shutout streak by Emery, who made 25 saves for his second playoff shutout in Monday's 2-0 win.

Brodeur made 33 saves.

Ottawa moved within one win of reaching the Eastern Conference finals for the second time. Game 5 is Saturday night in New Jersey.

The Senators, who have made 10 straight playoff appearances, lost the 2003 conference final in seven games to New Jersey, which went on to win its third Stanley Cup over Anaheim.

Heatley, who assisted on Jason Spezza's empty-net goal Monday, extended his points streak to five games when he set up Alfredsson's fifth goal of the playoffs.

Alfredsson set the scoring play in motion when he took Spezza's pass and shot the puck along the right boards. The Senators captain cut straight across to the goalmouth to take Heatley's centering pass from behind the net before beating Brodeur with a shot to the top right corner.

Gionta tied it when he put Patrik Elias' rebound past Emery for his seventh goal in seven games.

Heatley summoned a roaring cheer from the Scotiabank Place record crowd of 20,248 with 5:16 left in the second period when his shot along the ice from the right corner struck Brodeur's right skate and slid between his pads and into the net.

Fisher made it a two-goal lead when he drove into the Devils' zone and beat Brodeur with a 40-foot wrist shot.

Pandolfo cut the lead to one midway through the period when his deflection beat Emery for a goal that stood up to a video review.

Elias put a couple of shots toward the net in the final minute with Brodeur pulled for an extra attacker, with one stopped by Emery and a second blocked by defenseman Anton Volchenkov.

Notes: Brodeur got his eighth career playoff assist -- his ninth point -- on Gionta's goal. Brodeur scored into an empty net against Montreal on April 19, 1997, joining Ron Hextall as the only goaltenders to score a goal in a playoff game. ... Mike Rupp joined RW Cam Janssen and D John Oduya as New Jersey's healthy scratches. ... Emery, who improved to 7-2, also shut out the Penguins in Ottawa's first-round clinching 3-0 win on April 19. He hadn't allowed a goal at Scotiabank Place since Sidney Crosby scored 11:44 into the third period of the Penguins' 4-3 win in Game 2, Ottawa's only loss in the first round.

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