Tired of hearing all the accolades directed at the Ottawa Senators, Scott Stevens and the New Jersey Devils responded with a near-perfect performance.
Martin Brodeur stopped 30 shots, and New Jersey’s offense woke up to beat the Senators, 4-1, Tuesday night to even the Eastern Conference finals at 1-1.
John Madden, Tommy Albelin, Jeff Friesen and Jay Pandolfo scored for the Devils, who erased questions whether they can contain the potent Senators and bounce back from Saturday’s sloppy series-opening 3-2 overtime loss.
“It was looking pretty bleak from everybody after we lost the first game,” Stevens said.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night at New Jersey. The Devils are 6-0 this postseason at home.
Radek Bonk scored for the Senators, who appeared flat and gave up more than two goals for the first time in 12 games, ending an NHL playoff record streak they set in Game 1.
“We just looked a little sluggish, a little lethargic,” Senator forward and former King Bryan Smolinski said. “No particular reason, they just out-battled us.”
The Devils, who previously hadn’t trailed in a series this postseason, improved to 9-3. Ottawa fell to 9-4.
The loss was the Senators’ first in which they’ve scored this postseason. They were shut out in their three previous losses, once by the New York Islanders and twice by Philadelphia.