One Devil of a timer

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

Time flies, except at Continental Airlines Arena, apparently.

The Senators said they got burned by a timekeeper's slow finger at the end of the first period in Game 2 in East Rutherford, allowing New Jersey's Sergei Brylin to score with .2 of a second left in the period to give the Devils a 2-0 lead.

The Senators wound up losing the game, 3-2 in double overtime, to tie the series 1-1 heading into Game 3 tonight at Scotiabank Place.

Senators coach Bryan Murray said the timekeeper was slow starting the clock on a faceoff in the Ottawa zone with 2.7 seconds left, slow by at least half a second by the Senators' reckoning. From their point of view, the buzzer should have gone before the puck entered the net.

REFEREE CALLED OVER

"We knew immediately that the clock didn't start. That's why I called the referee over. Basically what the referee told me was there was an allowance for human error and that's what happened," said Murray. "We can't do anything about it. The guy didn't start the clock. That's the bottom line. He didn't start the clock right away and they scored on it."

The off-ice officials were from New Jersey. The NHL used to move its off-ice officials in from other cities for the playoffs, but stopped the practice last year.

After the puck was dropped, there was a scramble between Ottawa's Jason Spezza and Brylin. Spezza dropped down, Brylin stepped around and snapped a shot by Senators goaltender Ray Emery, who looked like he got caught napping on the play.

"It's kind of a fishy one," said Spezza. "I had enough time to tie him up and go down on my knees. He still found time to get the shot off in 2.7 seconds. We don't feel like they started the clock on time. That's the breaks, I guess, in hockey. You don't see those things happen very often."

The Devils, as you might expect, just shrugged their shoulders.

'PLAY TO THE BUZZER'

"I wasn't thinking about that," said Brylin when asked about the timing of the play. "Anyway, you play to the buzzer."

Exactly.

Devils coach and GM Lou Lamoriello said human error is always going to be part of the equation.

"If you can come up with any suggestion (for a better system), I'd like to hear it because it's a human hand that's dropping the puck and a human hand that's putting the clock on ... if there's a better way of doing it, I don't have the answer right now."

Murray conceded it was a good shot by Brylin, but wondered if there shouldn't be a better way of making sure the clock is accurate.

"They got a great shot off. Things do happen in hockey. I say that all the time. We complain and moan about it. Hockey is a game where you hit the post or it goes in the net or you start the clock a fraction late, whatever it may be," he said. "We understand you live with that, but probably we shouldn't be worrying about goal judges anymore. We should be worried about timers and people of that nature and having the technology to know when things take place.

"It probably happens quite often. You just don't get goals scored on them.

"That doesn't mean I have to accept it, but that's the way it is."


Videos

Photos