Emery, Sens look to stay in fast lane
The Ottawa Senators will tryto book their ticket for the Eastern Conference final by eliminating the New Jersey Devils on the road in Game 5 on Saturday night (CBC, 8 p.m. ET).
With Vancouver knocked out on Thursday, Ottawa is the last remaining Canadian hope for the Stanley Cup. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said this week he hoped fans of the other Canadian teams would rally behind his team.
Melnyk and the Sens better hope that goaltender Ray Emery is only figuratively driving that bandwagon.
The never-dull Emery got into a minor accident heading to the airport Friday afternoon on Highway 417, dinging his white Hummer H2. He was uninjured and signed autographs after the accident, but had to grab a commercial flight to get to New Jersey.
Emery was charged under the Highway Traffic Act and issued an $85 ticket for making an unsafe lane change, according to the Ottawa Sun.
After a 3-2 win in Game 4, opposing netminder Martin Brodeur put Emery in the spotlight by suggesting his lax rebound control was an advantage for New Jersey forwards to exploit going forward in the series.
Senator players dismissed it as a tactic unlikely to faze Emery, who claimed ignorance of his counterpart's comments when confronted by reporters.
"I don't think anybody can get into Razor's head," said Senators centre Jason Spezza. "I don't think he can get into his own head. Nothing fazes him."
Mike Fisher's goal held up as the winner on Wednesday to give them a 3-1 series lead, and the team will need that kind of offensive support to prevail.
Stars Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza have accounted for seven of the team's 12 goals in the series. Forwards Chris Kelly, Antoine Vermette and Mike Comrie are among those yet to score.
Add the fact that Brodeur will be motivated to rebound after allowing some uncharacteristic goals during the series, and the fourth and final victory figures to be the toughest one to get for the Senators.
The veteran-laded Devils aren't panicking and held a relatively brief team meeting before practice on Friday.
"I don't think we need to make major changes," forward Jamie Langenbrunner said. "Every game has been a one-goal game. We have to make the one play that changes the momentum and decides the outcome."
A win by the Senators would likely be the last NHL game played at the Continental Airlines Arena. The Devilsare expected tomove to a new facility in Newark for the next season.
It would also leave general manager and current coach Lou Lamoriello's playoff ledger at .500 after 20 games,and open him up to more questions surrounding his decision to remove Claude Julien as coach of the second-place club with mere days left in the regular season.
Should New Jersey win, the series will shift back to Ottawa for Game 6 on Monday. (CBC, 7 p.m. ET).