GOMEZ FEARS HE HAS BROKEN HAND
By MARK EVERSON
Islanders 4 - Devils 2
April 2, 2002 -- The beating the Devils took on the ice created the
one they took on the scoreboard and to the one that will last even
longer - the almost certain loss of trapbuster Scott Gomez for the
rest of the regular season.
Gomez suffered what is believed to be a broken left hand late in last
night's 4-2 loss to the Islanders. He was wearing a hard cast before
even leaving Nassau Coliseum, and X-rays are expected to confirm the
devastating injury today.
"I'll be ready opening day," Gomez said, blaming pain-killers for his
gallows humor. "I was in pain, but I think I was freaking out more
than anything. You've got a million things going through your head,
that you don't want to get injured."
There was only four minutes left in the game when Gomez, Bobby Holik
and Islander wrecking-ball Dave Scatchard crashed behind the Islander
net. When they parted, Gomez was in obvious pain, holding his wrist.
He promptly went to the dressing room, and was encased in plaster.
"It was a bad pain, but I'm not much for pain," said Gomez, who had
enjoyed his first three-point night of the season in Saturday's
victory in Toronto and picked up his 48th point of the season with an
assist last night.
"You feel something's wrong. Obviously something's there. I couldn't
finish the game. Definitely something didn't feel right," Gomez said.
Gomez brought vital scoring to Holik's line when he moved there upon
the arrival of Kevin Constantine (14-8-2-1). Now the Devils will have
to look elsewhere for his playmaking, and they're not likely to find
Scott Stevens suffered a pinched nerve atop his right shoulder in the
first period in another sandwich involving Holik, this time with
Jason Blake. Stevens shrugged it off to log 24:44, but went minus-2
on the evening.
"I thought it would be worse, but it wasn't that bad," said Stevens,
who turned 38 yesterday.
Blowing a lead in the third, allowing three goals in the final
period, the Devils saw their five-game road winning streak end. It
was their second loss in three games, and dimmed their chances to
climb past the Isles into sixth place in the East.
For a team with playoff aspirations, they did not react well to the
Isles' hitting, the sort of game they're likely to see exclusively in
the playoffs. And now they're likely to be without their best puck-
Devils' individual game playoff tickets go on sale today at box
office and Ticketmaster outlets . . . Martin Brodeur was named NHL
Player of the Week yesterday for the fifth time in his career, after
going 3-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average last week.
Ken Daneyko set the NHL-record goal-drought streak last night at 246
games, breaking the mark held by Rich Pilon. Daneyko hasn't scored in
the regular season since the last millennium, Feb. 9, 1999 against
Vancouver. He did have a big goal in the 2000 Stanley Cup finals.