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May 15, 2001
Devils Fall Apart, Pens Win 4-2
    The New Jersey Devils fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 in game 2 of their best of seven Eastern Conference Finals series, on Tuesday, May 15, 2001.
    Referees Paul Devorski and Kevin Pollack sure didn't hide the fact that they were trying to make it easy for Mario Lemieux.   There were numerous bad calls made throughout the entire game, heavily tipping the odds in favor of the Penguins.
    I understand that Gary Bettman is looking for the NHL to get higher ratings, but fixing the games so that the Penguins make the Stanley Cup finals is a bit ridiculous - yet that's what it seems is happening.   What is with these TV timeouts perfectly timed so that Mario can get some rest?   I mean, a TV timeout, in the middle of 4-4 action?   Why is it that there seem to be twice as many TV timeouts in the Pittsburgh Games?   Timed perfectly for Mario...
    The Devils were off to a good start in the first period.   It was good to see Scott Niedermayer and Sergei Brylin back in the lineup..   The crowd let Nieds know they were happy with his return, by chanting 'Niedermayer, Niedermayer, Niedermayer'.
    Jay Pandolfo scored his first goal of the playoffs at 8:52, with assists from Bob Corkum, and Sergei Nemchinov.   Petr Sykora scored shorthanded at 16:34 with assists from Patrick Elias and Scott Stevens.
    One thing missing from the Devils game which was apparent right from the start - was the Devils physical play.   Where was the hitting we saw in game 1?   This was definitely a factor in the loss.
    The Devils led 2-0 at the end of the first period.
    The second period was just bad for the Devils, this is where they fell apart.   The Devils gave the puck away way too many times in their own zone, which created too many chances for the Penguins, who score 3 times in the period.
    One of the big non-calls happened a little over 6 minutes into the second period.   The "great" Mario broke his stick with a hard crosscheck to John Madden.   What should have been a penalty was not called, and the Devils began to lose their composure.
    Morozov scored a shorthanded goal at 9:20.   At 12:17, Kovalev scored for the Pens to tie the game 2-2.   Corbet scored at 15:55 to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead.
    The Penguins led 3-2 after the second period.
    The Devils still were not themselves in the third period, letting Lang score for the Pens to make it 4-2.   This was the fourth unanswered goal the Devils let up, blowing their 2-0 lead.   Patrick Elias scored with 7:52 remaining, but the goal was disallowed because referee Kevin Pollack blew the whistle.   The puck was clearly loose, but this was another instance where the refs felt they had to help he Pens out.   Pollack didn't even move out from behind the net, he never came out to get a closer look.
    Final score, Pittsburgh wins 4-2.
    Ken Sutton and Turner Stevenson who had been playing in the previous game were scratched last night, due to the return of Scott Niedermayer and Sergei Brylin.

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