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High Anxiety for Devils ; Face Deep Hole If They Don't Get Their Attack Going
May 02, 01:20 PM


OTTAWA Just two weeks ago, the Devils were getting outworked by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs, but dug down deep in Game 4 and found a way to come back to win the series.

Now, they are in the same 2-1 hole against the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference semifinals and they have to do it again.

A win in tonight's Game 4 at Scotiabank Place would be the essential first step. Otherwise, the Devils will face a 3-1 deficit from which they have come back only once in six tries - the 2000 conference finals against Philadelphia.

"It's a situation we'd rather not be in, but when you go out and play a certain way, to a certain extent we made our own bed," goaltender Martin Brodeur said. "We have to live with it and we have to play better. We feel we were able to turn it on at this time in the other series and we feel we're going to be able to do it also [tonight]."

Although much was made after the Senators' 2-0 win in Game 3 about Tom Preissing's controversial winning goal, which was scored after Mike Fisher clipped Brodeur in the crease, the Devils know they would not have been in position to lose on such a goal if they had done more offensively.

Senators goalie Ray Emery was solid in earning his second playoff shutout, but the Devils didn't think they tested him enough. Only a handful of his 25 saves came on dangerous chances.

"It was the only game of this series that we didn't get a good number of chances," Devils general manager and coach Lou Lamoriello said. "We have to get to the net, shoot the puck, take more initiative. We have to do all the simple little things better."

The power play would be a good place to start. The Devils went 0- for-5 on the man-advantage in Game 3 and not only did they not score, the Senators' aggressive penalty killers made it difficult for them to set up in the offensive zone.

"We just have to be ready to outbattle them," Devils captain Patrik Elias said. "They outnumbered us even though they were on the PK. They didn't give us any time. We have to simplify our zone entry and battle for puck position first before we get spread out."

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