Devils spoil Sens' perfect end

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:32 PM ET

A perfect 10 just wasn't in the cards for the Senators.

Dany Heatley rallied Ottawa to a 2-2 tie with a goal in the dying minutes, but Devils goalie Martin Brodeur slammed the door in the shootout to lift New Jersey to a 3-2 win last night at Scotiabank Place and end the Senators' nine-game home winning streak.

The Senators, playing their final home game of the season, got a two-point effort from rookie Jesse Winchester, a 30-save performance from Alex Auld and Jarrko Ruutu's seventh goal of the season.

Brendan Shanahan scored what turned out to be the winner and Brodeur stopped centre Jason Spezza on the last shot to send the fans to the exits for the last time in 2008-09. The Senators close out the season tomorrow against the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

"We won nine in a row, we got points in 10 straight and obviously it's really nice to have some success," said captain Daniel Alfredsson, who took stitches near his ear after getting hit with a puck late in the third period. "We came back hard in the third after pretty much killing three penalties in a row and we had a strong finish."

The Senators deserve some credit for forcing the game into overtime.

Heatley's goal with a minute left in the third sent the Bank into hysterics.

"We put some pretty good pressure on them in the third. It was nice to tie it up. It was a pretty safe game in OT and in the shootout anything can happen," said Heatley, who scored his 39th of the season.

"You never know what's going to happen in overtime. We've been pretty good at coming back lately. We've been down in some games and we've been able to come back. We're confident and we were putting some pressure on them. I thought with the way we were going it was just a matter of time (before we tied it up)."

DOUBLE MINOR

The Senators had a tough go to claw their way back. Alfredsson was given a minor for goalie interference on Brodeur at 9:21 and then got an extra two for jawing at the official.

"I thought it was very questionable, given the time of the game and who it was," said Senators coach Cory Clouston.

Alfredsson said he didn't deserve the punishment.

"It was just really frustrating because I got pushed and I was really just trying to get out of the way," said Alfredsson. "I don't know where that (goalie interference) call came from."

Making his fifth straight start, Auld didn't look good on the go-ahead goal by New Jersey's Brian Rolston at 3:47 of the second. Caught behind the net after a miscommunication with blueliner Brian Lee, Auld couldn't get back in time as David Clarkson picked up the loose puck.

As Auld scrambled to get back to the front of the net and was out of position, all Brian Rolston had to do was take a pass from Clarkson to fire it into a wide open net. That came only 46 seconds after Brian Gionta had tied it up on the power play at 3:01.

"It's definitely a big win for us," said Brodeur, who made 28 stops as the Devils clinched the Atlantic Division title.

BRUCE.GARRIOCH@SUNMEDIA.CA


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