Alexei Yashin didn't realize it was over until he saw his Ottawa teammates vaulting the Corel Centre boards.
Yashin's hard wrist shot on a power play 2:47 into overtime gave the Senators a 2-1 win Sunday over New Jersey and a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference series. Game 4 is Tuesday.
With Devils defenseman Lyle Odelein off for hauling down forward Magnus Arvedson on a break, Yashin took a cross-ice pass from Janne Laukkanen and banked a shot between the pads of goalie Martin Brodeur.
"I didn't understand right away what happened," Yashin said, despite the roar from the capacity crowd of 18,500. "But when I saw the guys jumping over the boards, I was very happy."
Yashin wasn't the only reluctant believer.
"I tried to squeeze my pads as hard as I could, but it wasn't enough," Brodeur said.
Devils coach Jacques Lemaire's reaction to his team's deficit? "He's a little upset and thought it might be better if I came out," assistant coach Robbie Ftorek told the post-game media throng.
The Devils, the conference champions who finished 24 points ahead of eighth-place Ottawa, played as well as expected, but must be starting to wonder whether last year's post-season goal drought has returned.
New Jersey outshot the Senators 31-22 _ including a 12-3 margin in the third period _ but was stymied by the play of goaltender Damian Rhodes and his fail-safe goal posts.
Dave Andreychuk hit the right post in overtime moments before Magnus Arvedson was pulled down as he tried to outrace Odelein one-on-one to the Devils net.
Midway through the third period, with the score tied at 1, Rhodes robbed Steve Thomas with a pad save on a breakaway.
Both Ottawa goals came on power plays and the Senators didn't appear overly inflated about their performance.
"We haven't got them on the run yet," checking forward Bruce Gardiner said. "There's a lot of experience in that room over there."
New Jersey's Bobby Carpenter and Ottawa's Laukkanen _ who also set up Yashin's overtime winner _ traded goals four minutes apart early in the second.
SHARKS 4, STARS 1: After criticizing the Sharks for being too rough and undisciplined in the playoffs, the visiting Stars deteriorated, with goaltender Ed Belfour getting ejected for fighting in the final minutes.
Penalized 21 times for 72 minutes in their 5-2 loss Friday in Dallas, the Sharks kept it relatively clean, narrowing their series to a 2-1 Stars advantage.
This time, it was the Stars who looked rough and undisciplined, with three penalties that led to San Jose goals and a brawl that resulted in Belfour's ejection. The Stars had 20 penalties for 75 minutes.
With 1:33 left, Belfour jumped on Sharks forward Shawn Burr and hit him. Another fight broke out seconds later. Belfour and Stars captain Derian Hatcher were ejected, and three other players were assessed game misconduct penalties.
SABRES: Forward Rob Ray was suspended for tonight's Game 3 against the Flyers for verbally abusing officials in Game 2 on Friday.