EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - First Sid the Kid and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils. All in 10 games.
The Ottawa Senators are finally delivering in the playoffs after a decade of disappointing failures.
Jason Spezza scored the go-ahead goal and set up another by Daniel Alfredsson in a three-goal second period last night as Ottawa beat to Devils, 3-2, to win their Eastern Conference semifinal in five games.
Goalie Ray Emery, who showed no effects from a minor automobile accident in Ottawa on Friday, made 27 saves to cap a series in which he clearly outplayed Brodeur, who set an NHL record with 48 wins this season.
Scott Gomez scored twice for New Jersey in what may have been the final Devils game at the Continental Airlines Arena. The three-time Stanley Cup champions are moving to a new arena in Newark next season, but they will leave the Meadowlands having not gotten past the second round in the last three postseasons.
The Senators will face either the Buffalo Sabres or New York Rangers in the conference final, with the winner earning a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. While Ottawa has been to the playoffs the last 10 years, it has never made it to the finals. The only time the Senators made the conference finals, the Devils beat them in seven games en route to winning the Cup.
Red Wings 4, Sharks 1
DETROIT - Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg each scored a goal and had two assists, leading Detroit past San Jose and within one victory of reaching the Western Conference finals.
Detroit is ahead by three games to two and can close this conference semifinal tomorrow night in San Jose, Calif.
The Red Wings outhit and outshot the Sharks in Game 5, but they also had some luck.
Datsyuk turned San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov's misplay into the winning goal late in the second period, and Nabokov didn't seem the same after that, surrendering a pair of third-period power-play goals.
Defenseman Mathieu Schneider broke his wrist during the first period and will miss the rest of the playoffs, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. Schneider, who scored the overtime goal in San Jose on Wednesday that evened the series at two apiece, was hurt when checked by Sharks captain Patrick Marleau.
"He's a top-four defenseman who plays a lot of minutes," Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "He's a big part of our power play, so yeah, he'll be missed."