Senators Survive Game Five

Archived from 2002-03 season.

2003 Playoffs

Rookie Jason Spezza, playing in his first NHL playoff game, had a goal and assisted on Martin Havlat's game-winner as the Ottawa Senators beat New Jersey Devils 3-1 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"Obviously, going into it, I knew it was an important game, and this is big for us," Spezza said. "We're only getting started now, we've got a long way to go because they're a great hockey team. But obviously, it feels good to come in and help contribute."

Spezza, who was a healthy scratch in Ottawa's first 15 playoff games, was put in the lineup to boost the Senators' struggling offense.

"He came in and played awesome," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "It is a very tough situation to come in and he handled it real well, I thought. He worked himself great into the game, made smart plays and played with poise."

The Devils still lead the series three games to two and get another chance to finish it in Game 6 at home, where they are 8-0 in the postseason.

"A lot of us have been through this before," defenseman Scott Niedermayer said. "No one thought that the Senators were just going to sit there and die. That's not their club.

"I think that going home, we'll have to play with the same desperation that the other team played with tonight," New Jersey center Joe Nieuwendyk said. "You could tell they wanted it more than we did. That's unacceptable, but we're gonna get it in gear tomorrow and we're gonna make sure we play Game 6 like it's a Game 7."

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