Sens out to spoil Marty's party

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

The Senators respect Martin Brodeur, but they hardly think the Devils goalie is unbeatable.

"He's not immortal," Senators centre Jason Spezza said yesterday following a tough one-hour practice at Scotiabank Place.

But the Senators know if they're going to win the Round 2 playoff series that opens Thursday in New Jersey, they're going to have to find a way to get to the goalie often referred to as the best in the world.

Yes, Brodeur had a tough time early in New Jersey's first-round series against the Lightning, but the Devils were singing his praises after taking out the Bolts in six games with a 3-2 victory Sunday.

"We've just got to keep shooting pucks at him and get in front of him. You have to play him like you play any other guy, just not expect to get as much out of him," said Spezza.

What makes him so strong?

"His composure. He's been through the big games before. He's been there and done that," added Spezza. "He's a tough guy to rattle. It's more important to stick to our plan. You've got to keep putting pucks at him."

Brodeur has done it all in his career. Along with three Stanley Cup rings, he also led Canada to a gold medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Tampa coach John Tortorella told reporters that Brodeur was the difference in their series.

"I think Brodeur was the difference in the last two games," said Tortorella. "I don't think he was totally on his game for the first four. The opportunity that we had in overtime (in Game 4), we didn't get it done. But you knew he was going to come up sooner or later and I think he was the difference in the last two games."

The Senators can talk about the frustration of facing the Devils all they want. The buzzword around the dressing room is "patience" and the Senators feel they have enough to beat New Jersey if this series goes seven games.

But Brodeur is the key. He has made coach and GM Lou Lamoriello look like a genius, leading the Devils to three Stanley Cup victories in the last 12 years.

Brodeur is 1-1 in playoff series against the Senators. Ottawa upset the Devils in the first round in 1998 and suffered a heartbreaking loss against New Jersey in Game 7 of Eastern Conference final in 2003.

LIKE A DEFENCEMAN

The Senators have spent a lot of time in the last 48 hours preparing for Brodeur. They're going to try to make sure he doesn't get much of a chance to play the puck because he's like a third defenceman when he's able to handle it.

As for scoring goals, the Senators are not concerned.

"(Scoring on Brodeur has) got to be our focus right of the bat. We've got to make sure we're getting to the net," said Senators defenceman Wade Redden.

"The way you score goals is crashing the net and getting there for rebounds. At the same time, we've got to be real patient.

"We can't be forcing things too much. They're a team that likes to counter mistakes. We've got to play smart and aggressive. It's going to be a tight series."

OFF THE GLASS: Senators coach Bryan Murray said it's not the Senators vs. Brodeur in the Round 2 series. "They've got a lot of good people and they're a strong team. We have to play well against that group," said Murray. "We know what they're going to do. We just have to play the way we can, as much as we can." ... The Devils had yesterday off after beating the Bolts. D Colin White, who missed the last four games with a stiff back, has been skating on his own. It's not known if he'll be ready for the series opener. Veteran D Richard Matvichuk stepped into White's spot beside D Paul Martin and did a good job.


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