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Who'da thunk it?

'No goal' Daneyko outscores 'The Golden Brett'

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Posted: Wednesday May 31, 2000 09:06 PM

  Ken Daneyko New Jersey's Ken Daneyko celebrates his second-period goal in Game 1. AP

By Mike Ulmer, SLAM! Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Look, some things are pre-ordained.

If your first name is Blind, you know you are destined to play the blues. If your friends call you Knuckles, best take a pass on medical school.

If you're a goaltender and the guy you stop with the game on the line is named, oh, say, the Golden Brett, you're sitting pretty, baby. And if the guy who beats you is nicknamed "No Goal" Ken Daneyko, well, I think we all know how that ends.

New Jersey 7, Dallas 3. And those two distinct aromas drifting by are either the last of Ed Belfour's aura of invincibility going up in smoke or Martin Brodeur smelling like a rose.

You can't blame Belfour for all six goals he gave up last night, only about half, but the half-dozen pucks that went by him tied his career post-season high. Contrast that performance with Belfour's play in the Western Conference final against the Colorado Avalanche, who could not muster more than two goals per game on Belfour through seven games.

Three Stars 

Click here to find out who they are and why's Darren Eliot gives 'em props. 
Analysis and Stories 
Closer Look: 30 seconds change the game
From the Locker Rooms: Both sides sedate
SI's McGuire: Speed kills
SI's Kennedy: Hell freezes over 
From SLAM! Sports 
Who'da thunk it?
Dallas collapse was a total-team effort
Believe it Arnott, Jason has grown up 
Day at a Glance: 16W is the place to be
Morning Skate: A Nieds for speed
Chat Reel: SI's Kennedy
Notebook: Stars won't be bullied  
Your Turn 
Reactions: Both sides agree: It ain't over 
Click the image to launch the clip

Ken Daneyko and Petr Sykora put the rout in motion. Start (1.6 M .mov)
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Right now, Daneyko has beaten Belfour one more time than Avalanche star Joe Sakic managed and Daneyko needed only one game to do so, which is amusing as all get out ... provided you're not a Dallas Star.

This is no knock on Daneyko, an honest, likable player who is not exactly known for his offensive forays.

The 36-year-old Daneyko had been the owner of a grand total of zero goals this season and has only five goals in 126 career playoff games. He launched a hard, low shot that skirted a couple of sticks before rattling around Belfour's pads like flubber off concrete before dropping from exhaustion in the back of the net.

The goal, just 2:52 into the second period, lifted the Devils to a 2-1 lead.

"What can I say?" Daneyko said, slightly embarrassed by the fuss. "It was nice to score but that's certainly not what got me in the league or what is going to keep me here."

At the game's midway point, Dallas gunner Mike Modano danced into the New Jersey end and ripped a shot that produced a serviceable rebound for Brett Hull. Hull, who has potted nine goals during this post-season, got wood on the shot but Brodeur snapped his catching glove in front of the puck.

"I was just able to react," said Brodeur, who was called upon to make saves only 18 times. "He shot it into my glove more than anything."

Twenty-seven seconds later, Petr Sykora slapped in the Devils' third goal and Belfour's night started heading south with alacrity.

"That's usually how it goes," said Devils coach Larry Robinson, who now has guided his team to four consecutive wins after throwing a Bobby Knight-like tantrum when the Devils fell behind the Philadelphia Flyers three games to one in the Eastern Conference final.

"One team goes down, has a great chance and the other teams turns around, comes back and scores at the other end. You see that quite a bit in hockey. No doubt, Marty made some huge and big-time saves for us," Robinson said.

Sykora's goal early in the third pushed the margin to 6-1, Belfour went to the bench and hotel security guards all over New Jersey went on red alert.

Belfour offered an explanation for his poor night.

"I was fighting a cold bug and I think some of the medication I am on right now maybe caused some misjudgment," Belfour said.

And when did he feel the medication was a problem?

"After they scored six goals," Belfour said. "I'll just try to get over it and be a lot better for the next game."

He'll have to be. Otherwise, Daneyko is in for a honkin' big raise.

More hockey from SlamSports    

Related information
Chat Reel: SI's Kostya Kennedy Analysis: Call it a hockey hangover
Game 1: All Devils
Bald Eagle: Belfour gets his bell rung in opener
From the locker rooms: Both sides sedate after blowout
Hell freezes over in New Jersey victory
SI's Pierre McGuire: Game 1 breakdown
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