Devils beat Sens, clinch Atlantic title
OTTAWA -- Zach Parise and Brendan Shanahan scored in the shootout to give the New Jersey Devils a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
New Jersey had already clinched first place in the Atlantic Division and third place overall in the Eastern Conference by getting a point for going into overtime.
Dany Heatley scored his 39th goal to draw Ottawa even at 2 with a minute left in the third period. The Senators' All-Star left wing scored his fourth in three games to tie it when he drove a shot past Martin Brodeur from the slot to cap a wild scramble around the Devils' goal.
New Jersey claimed its third division title in four seasons.
Brodeur stopped Mike Fisher and Jason Spezza after Daniel Alfredsson scored on Ottawa's first shot. He made 28 saves and raised his all-time wins record to 556 in his 998th regular season game. Brodeur, who has 101 career shutouts, two behind Terry Sawchuk's NHL record of 103, has played 59,962 minutes - 38 short of 60,000 with one game remaining.
The Devils finish their regular season Saturday against Carolina.
Jarkko Ruutu also scored for the Senators, who had their franchise-record home winning streak stopped nine in their last game of the season at Scotiabank Place. Jesse Winchester assisted on both Ottawa goals.
The Senators, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1996, finish their season Saturday night in Toronto.
Brian Gionta scored his 20th goal 3:01 into the second to draw New Jersey even at 1. Gionta's goal came 2 seconds after a too-many-men penalty against Ottawa expired.
Brian Rolston gave the Devils their first lead at 3:47 as New Jersey took advantage of sloppy play by Alex Auld behind his net.
The Ottawa goalie stopped the puck along the boards and left it behind the net and Devils forward David Clarkson pounced on it.
Clarkson attempted a wraparound while Auld tried to scramble back into position and Rolston put away the puck when it came loose for his 15th goal.
Ruutu gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead with his seventh goal 4:13 in.
Ruutu put a rebound of Brian Lee's shot from the right point past Brodeur from the right edge of the crease.
Notes: Brodeur has started 986 regular season games, including 29 of 30 this season. ... Devils Cs Bobby Holik and Mike Rupp did not dress. ... New Jersey swept the four-game season series. The Devils have won six in a row against Ottawa since a 4-1 home loss on Oct. 27, 2007. ... The Senators are 19-10-4 under Cory Clouston, who became the team's head coach on a full-time basis when he signed a two-year contract on Wednesday. Ottawa was 17-24-7 when Clouston was brought up from Binghamton of the AHL to take over behind the bench on an interim basis after Craig Hartsburg was fired on Feb. 2.
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