Senators 2, Devils 1 F/SO
NEWARK, N.J. -- Jakob Silfverberg scored the only goal in a shootout and goalie Ben Bishop made 30 saves to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Monday before 17,625 at Prudential Center.
Bishop forced Ilya Kovalchuk wide and stopped Patrik Elias before Silfverberg snapped a shot past Martin Brodeur in the second round. Bishop then forced ex-Senator Bobby Butler wide of the net to give Ottawa the victory.
The Devils opened the overtime period a man short for 1:48 with Patrik Elias in the box for goalie interference on Bishop late in the third. The scrum that ensued following the Elias penalty including unsportsmanlike conduct minors to New Jersey's David Clarkson and Ottawa's Chris Neil. Clarkson, who continued to argue the call, would eventually be issued a 10-minute misconduct.
Both goalies were sharp. Bishop, who was making just his third start of the season, was particularly impressive. After allowing a goal by Stephen Gionta on New Jersey's second shot of the game, the 26-year-old backup to Craig Anderson kept his team within striking distance the rest of the way behind 29 straight saves. Brodeur was equally splendid with 29 saves, including three in the OT.
The Senators pulled into a 1-1 tie 8:12 into the third when captain Daniel Alfredsson converted a backhand attempt over Brodeur. The goal marked Ottawa's first since defenseman Erik Karlsson suffered a left Achilles injury with 23 seconds remaining in the second period of an eventual 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 13 -- spanning six-plus periods.
Kyle Turris made the play possible when he maintained possession of the puck just inside the Devils blue line at the right point before feeding Silfverberg in the right corner. Silfverberg spotted Alfredsson in front, and the veteran wing waited patiently before lofting a shot over Brodeur -- his fourth of the season and the 420th of his career. The Silfverberg-Turris-Alfredsson line was extremely active and effective throughout the game.
New Jersey lost third-line forward Ryan Carter to an upper-body injury with 4:32 left in the second after he was sandwiched along the left-wing half boards in the Senators end by Dave Dziurzynski and Neil. The injury forced Devils coach Pete DeBoer to try several different line combinations in an attempt to get his offense untracked.
Bishop's best save of the game came 8:09 into the second when he denied Elias off a one-timer in the slot following a feed from Butler to keep his team within one. The Senators then barely missed squaring the contest at 9:57 when Silfverberg's shot from the left circle rang off the short side post behind Brodeur.
The Devils opened a 1-0 lead just 1:19 into the first when Gionta scored his first goal in 13 games. Steve Bernier battled for a loose puck along the left wing boards before releasing a long wrist shot that Bishop stopped but couldn't control. Gionta, cruising through the slot, picked up the puck and buried his second of the season.
Despite outshooting the Senators in the first, 18-9, the visitors did have a few great scoring opportunities thwarted by Brodeur. But first, Alfredsson found himself alone to Brodeur's right at the 5:30 mark and attempted a backhand that hit the short side post.
Less than 30 seconds later, Kaspars Daugavins snapped a shot from almost the same exact spot that Brodeur turned away with his right pad.
Brodeur's best block, however, came 12:10 into the first when he somehow dove to his right to get the paddle of the stick on a shot directed towards the left corner by Zack Smith with the Devils on the power-play. Erik Condra hustled to the puck behind the net before feeding Smith barreling down the slot. Brodeur, who had skated out to play the puck, eventually found his way back into position to make the save.
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