Devils control series


Published: Thursday, May 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 1, 2003 at 12:19 a.m.
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New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur knocks down Tampa Bay defenseman Andre Roy in front of the goal during the first period of an Eastern Conference semifinal series playoff game Wednesday.

The Associated Press
TAMPA - One Scott returned from an injury, another just kept on going.
Scott Stevens, two days removed from being hit on the left ear by a slapshot, scored a goal and Scott Gomez added two points, as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 in Game 4 of this Eastern Conference semifinal series in front of 21,222 Wednesday at the St. Pete Times Forum.
The Devils - who looked rattled just two days ago when they lost Stevens as well as Game 3 - now lead this best-of-seven series 3-1. Game 5 is Friday at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J.
Stevens, the Devils' captain who dodged a concussion but received 15 stitches down the side of his ear Tuesday, iced the game at the 13:13 mark of the third period when his wristshot found its way through a screen and past Nikolai Khabibulin.
"I guess I couldn't have scripted it any better," Stevens said. "Things went pretty well."
Tampa Bay now has the daunting task of winning three consecutive games to advance to its first-ever conference final. Only one of those games - No. 6 - would be at home.
"We are going to New Jersey to try and win one game," Tampa Bay's Tim Taylor said. "Then we will bring it back here. Anything can happen."
Tampa Bay's lone goal came off the stick of Jassen Cullimore at 11:30 of the first. As New Jersey's Jamie Langenbrunner slid to block the shot, Cullimore neatly soared a wrister over Langenbrunner's sprawled body, through a screen and behind Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur. It was his first career postseason goal.
Gomez, who now has a four-game scoring streak, had a goal and an assist in the first period.
  • NOTES: Khabibulin hadn't allowed a first-period goal in six games before Gomez scored. ... Gomez has one goal and five assists in the series after not having any points in the Devils' first-round win over Boston. ... Stevens has not missed a playoff game in 12 seasons with the Devils. ... New Jersey RW Turner Stevenson was scratched with a groin strain. ... Lightning D Brad Lukowich will miss the remainder of the playoffs after breaking his right hand in Game 3. ... Cullimore's goal was the first by a Tampa Bay defenseman in the playoffs.
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