Senators 4, Devils 1 (FINAL)
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:13 AM
New Jersey Devilsnewjerseydevils.com (Oct. 27) –
A sellout crowd of 17,625 packed Prudential Center on Saturday night to see the Devils debut at their brand-new home in Newark.
Brian Gionta recorded the first Devils' goal in Prudential Center history in a 4-1 loss to the Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa Senators.
Andrej Meszaros, Shean Donovan, Mike Fisher all scored for Ottawa, and captain Daniel Alfredsson's shorthanded empty-net goal iced the win with two seconds left in regulation.
Gionta's power-play tally at 14:00 of the second period knotted the contest at 1-1, nine minutes after Meszaros had given Ottawa the first lead of the contest.
With Dany Heatley in the box for his second penalty of the period, Gionta's shot from the right circle caromed off Martin Gerber's pads and deflected into the net off the skates of Ottawa defenseman Anton Volchenkov
Each team finished 1-for-3 on the power play, and New Jersey earned the overall edge in shots by a final count of 32-27.
The evening's festivities included a ceremonial faceoff with Devils co-owners Jeff Vanderbeek and Michael Gilfillan, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and Devils alumni Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko.
Actress and recording artist Emmy Rossum was on hand to sing the U.S. national anthem.
Once the puck had finally dropped on the Devils' inaugural Newark home opener, New Jersey dominated the play, outshooting the defending conference champs 18-5 after 20 minutes.
But Gerber stymied head coach Brent Sutter's group in the first period and quieted a raucous crowd in red and black en route to being named the game's first star.
Gionta, who was one of four Devils with a team-leading four shots in the game, was named the third star.
made his eighth start and battled an Ottawa attack that seemed to gain momentum with each period. The Senators put 10 shots on the Devil netminder in the second period, and 11 in the third. Brodeur has now dropped three straight to slip to 2-6 this season.
As a club, the Devils (3-6-1) have lost four in a row since winning back-to-back games on Oct. 13 and Oct. 17.
Prudential Center is the National Hockey League's first new building to open since December 27, 2003 (Phx.), and the 23rd to open since October 8, 1993 (Ana.).
Tonight's game opened a three-game homestand for the Devils. The club faces Tampa Bay on Wednesday (7:00 p.m., FSN NY, WFAN 660 AM), and Toronto on Friday (7:00 p.m., FSN NY, WFAN).
For tickets, visit the arena box office located near Prudential Center's PNC Tower, call Ticketmaster charge-by-phone, or log on to ticketmaster.com.