Devils To East Final

Archived from 2002-03 season.

2003 Playoffs

Grant Marshall scored at 11:12 of the third overtime, and the New Jersey Devils eliminated the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 2-1 victory in Game 5 on Friday night.

The Devils are going to the Eastern Conference finals for the third time in four years. New Jersey will face the winner of the Philadelphia-Ottawa.

"We're only halfway there, but the way things are going in the NHL this year, you never know," Devils captain Scott Stevens said. "We took a big step tonight winning this game."

Marshall scored on a rebound off a shot from above the right circle by Scott Niedermayer, who had the Devils' other goal.

"I just kept whacking at it," Marshall said. "I just stepped and fired it five-hole. My goals aren't the prettiest. but as long as I can have one that's great. During the intermission, I was thinking how great it would be to get a game-winner."

Tampa Bay rallied from an 0-2 series deficit to beat Washington in the opening round, but was never a threat to New Jersey, losing the series four games to one.

"You don't want this to be a one-time thing and rest on your laurels," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "You have to keep on building. You don't want a one-year thing. I know we had fun playing in the playoffs and we'd like to come back next year."

Canucks Up 3-1 On Wild
Brent Sopel scored a power play goal in overtime to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild and a commanding three games to one lead in the series.

"We have an opportunity to close things out," defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. "You've got to find it in your psyche somewhere to bring your best game."

Wild fell two minutes short of evening the series, when Jovanovski tied the game with 2:06 remaining in the third period.

Marian Gaborik scored both goals for Minnesota, who trailed Colorado in the first round 3-1 before winning the last three games.

"They're down 3-1, but look what they did against Colorado," Sopel said. "They're a great team, they work hard ... we just have to stick to our systems and take it shift by shift."

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