Jeff Friesen, Patrik Elias and John Madden scored third-period goals as the Devils stormed back from a prolonged listless stretch and defeated the Senators, 5-2, to open a three games to one lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Ottawa appeared in control after Vaclav Varada's goal broke a 1-1 tie 7:08 into the second period. At the time, the Senators had an 18-6 advantage in shots.
"We just for some reason weren't playing our game," Devils left wing Jay Pandolfo said. "We were undisciplined and just throwing pucks in the middle of the ice. But we got back to playing our game in the third period."
But the momentum shifted with 3:17 to go in the second when Pandolfo, a member of the checking line, scored his third goal of the series. With 52 seconds remaining, Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson punched Scott Gomez in the back of the head and drew a retaliatory roughing penalty.
"I was just battling in front and (the referee) calls only one penalty," Alfredsson said. "He called roughing and I didn't even throw a punch. I don't know how he was looking at it. This is the playoffs and the game should be called like the playoffs."
The ensuing power play carried into the third period, and Friesen put New Jersey in front at the 41-second mark when he deflected defenseman Brian Rafalski shot from the blue line down and through goaltender Patrick Lalime.
"There was one in the second period that I didn't try to tip because I thought I was in a better screen position," Friesen explained. "I just ended up getting pretty much the same play. It was a lucky bounce or whatever you want to call it, but it went in."
Elias made it 4-2 just over 3 1/2 minutes later, beating Lalime with a blast from the top of the right faceoff circle.
"It's my job to stop the puck, whether there are screens or tips," Lalime said. "That's the way it goes. Goals are going to be scored like that and it doesn't matter how they score. I've got to be better and make those saves."
Madden finished off a shorthanded 2-on-none break - and the Senators - at 7:35 with his sixth playoff goal. Pandolfo carried down the slot but passed at the last minute to set up a one-timer.
"Very unselfish play by him," Madden said. "I thought it was the right play to make, 2-on-0 like that - get the goal, moving the goalie. It was very unselfish of him."
Martin Brodeur made 26 saves and Grant Marshall scored the other goal for New Jersey, which improved to 8-0 at home in the playoffs and can advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the third time in four years with a win on Monday in Ottawa.
"There's no question it's nice to be up 3-1 instead of 2-2," Devils captain Scott Stevens said. "But we know they are a dangerous team and they are capable of winning a lot of hockey games, so we still have to get this fourth team, which is always tough. We know that."
The Senators have lost three in a row for the first time since January 27-30. It was the first time they surrendered as many as five goals in nearly two months.
"It's a very frustrating loss because we were able to get more shots, and we also let a lead slip away," Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips said. "We were doing a lot more good things and were able to get a forecheck going. But we need to limit our mistakes, whether it be our blue line or their blue line."
New Jersey scored first for the third straight game. Alfredsson was in the penalty box for tripping when Marshall got a screen from Elias and fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle over Lalime's left arm at 7:25 of the opening period.
It came on the Devils' first shot of the game and ended the Senators' penalty-killing streak at 32 chances.
Coming off a 1-0 victory in Game Three, Brodeur extended his shutout streak to 117 minutes, 43 seconds before defenseman Karel Rachunek tied it with 14.5 seconds to go in the period. Scoreless in 16 playoff games, Rachunek turned and fired a shot from the blue line that sneaked between Brodeur's pads.
Brodeur kept the game tied early in the second period with stops on Mike Fisher and Magnus Arvedson. He followed Arvedson across the goalmouth, reached up with his left arm and got a piece of his shot with 17:19 to go.
"As a goalie, you don't need to do it for 60 minutes. But sometimes doing it for five or 10 minutes is just enough to wake everybody up, to say, let's go," Brodeur said.
That message was delayed, however, as Varada got a cross-ice pass from Bryan Smolinski in the left circle, crept closer to the net and squeezed a shot between Brodeur and the left goalpost for his second postseason goal.
But Pandolfo tied it 9 1/2 minutes later. After getting a pass from defenseman Scott Niedermayer, he slapped a shot that fluttered and handcuffed Lalime before beating him to the short side.
"That goal by Jay was the biggest goal of the series so far," Friesen said. "That really turned the momentum. Then we had jump in our legs."
"I thought we were real good in the first and second periods and felt real good about our game during the second intermission," Fisher said. "Unfortunately, we squandered things away in the third period and gave up too many chances."