-- Martin Brodeur
and the New Jersey Devils
saw their 2-1 series lead against the Carolina Hurricanes
vanish in an instant on Tuesday night.
Or, in 0.2 seconds … whichever you prefer.
The loss left Brodeur furious -- the NHL's all-time winningest goalie smashed his stick and left the ice without it. Brodeur, who made 42 saves, said he felt he was interfered with by 'Canes forward Jussi Jokinen
before the latter redirected Dennis Seidenberg
's shot into the net for a 4-3 victory at the RBC Center in Game 4 of this first-round matchup.
"Not on the shot itself, but before that," Brodeur said when he asked if he was bumped by Jokinen. "For him to get position on me … it's always that debate on the rule or what's being called out there. It is what it is."
Brodeur asked for an explanation from referees Eric Furlatt and Wes McCauley, and he got one. But for No. 30, it wasn't soothing whatsoever.
"That I had time to reset myself," Brodeur said when asked what he was told. "That's always the same answer. It doesn't matter which referee it is. It's the easy way out for them. It's hard. You want to play your game and you want to do what's right and be in the best position you can. That's guys, that's what they do. They get to the net and they play hard. I'm not complaining about how Carolina's playing. They go to the net. It's the referees, they have to do their job. Today it was pretty awful."
"He definitely got bumped, there's no question about it," Devils coach Brent Sutter
said. "Jokinen did bump him. He was outside the crease and sliding across, so I guess that's the call. It is what it is. It obviously comes at the discretion of the ref. They felt Marty was outside the crease."
"I feel I kept them in the game at 3-0, and they came storming. It was an unbelievable comeback. To lose on a goal like that, it's not fun." -- Martin Brodeur
In the dressing room, Brodeur was much calmer -- an indication that the process of putting the loss behind him was well under way. Game 5 is Thursday back at the Prudential Center in Newark.
"It's an emotion that builds up when you play," Brodeur said. "I feel I kept them in the game at 3-0, and they came storming. It was an unbelievable comeback. To lose on a goal like that, it's not fun."
Brodeur, who has 97 postseason wins to his credit, was asked if it was one of the toughest losses of his brilliant career. After all, New Jersey rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the final 20:28, only to lose in the final second of regulation.
"I don't think so," Brodeur said. "It's definitely a disappointing loss, but we didn't lose anything today. We've still got home-ice advantage. We lost a game, that's it."
For more information about the goalie interference rule and last night's finish at Carolina, check out NHL.com's Situation Room blog