Don Sweeney, denied in the opening minutes of overtime, scored on a great pass by Adam Oates 9:08 into overtime Tuesday night to give the Boston Bruins a 6-5 victory over the New Jersey Devils at East Rutherford, N.J.
The goal, which gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series, came only seconds after Boston goaltender Jon Casey stopped Bill Guerin on a two-on-one with the teams skating four-on-four.
Oates took a pass entering the Devil zone and skated around defenseman Scott Niedermayer before giving the puck to Sweeney, who beat Martin Brodeur.
“Adam made a hell of a move on Niedermayer,” said Sweeney, who sat out the first game of the series because of a broken finger and wasn’t cleared to play in Game 2 until after the pregame skate. “I was a little surprised that he got it over to me; he was in himself. But that’s the kind of guy he is.”
Oates, who outscored Sweeney during the regular season, 32-6, said he passed up the shot because Sweeney had a better one.
“It was a nice give-and-go,” Oates said. “I didn’t know he was there until the last second because I was concentrating on the move. I got by the guy and went to my backhand and I saw Donny creeping up the edge. I figured the goalie had to be facing me, so I gave him the quick pass and actually, I was surprised where he shot it, (between Brodeur’s legs). That’s usually a top-shelf shot.”
Said Brodeur: “I never saw Sweeney. But on a breakaway in overtime, you just don’t pass the puck. When he did I tried to cover as much of the goal as possible, but he crossed it and it slipped between my legs.”
The Bruins had come within 3.5 seconds of winning in regulation, but New Jersey forced the overtime on a goal by defenseman Bruce Driver after a mistake by Bruin defenseman Al Iafrate.
N.Y. Rangers 5, Washington 2--Adam Graves and Stephane Matteau scored in a 19-second span in the third period at New York, helping the Rangers take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The Rangers broke open a close game with the rapid-fire goals by Graves at 10:47 and Matteau at 11:06 of the final period to win their club-record sixth consecutive playoff game.
Graves scored from the low slot, set up by Steve Larmer’s pass from the right corner. Matteau scored from in front on a pass from Alexei Kovalev along the right boards.
The Rangers had previously won five consecutive playoff games in 1972 and 1940.
Esa Tikkanen gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead at 10:44 of the second period.
The Rangers have outscored the opposition in their first six playoff games, 33-8.