NEWARK, N.J. - Not even the opening of their sparkling new arena was enough to snap the New Jersey Devils out of an early-season funk.
The Ottawa Senators spoiled the Devils' first game in the new Prudential Center, scoring three times in the third period in a 4-1 victory Saturday night.
Brian Gionta scored on a deflection for the Devils, who played their first nine games on the road while waiting for the $380-million US arena to be completed.
New Jersey won three of those games and continued to struggle Saturday night against Ottawa (9-1), which leads the Northeast Division and also owns the best record in the National Hockey League.
Martin Gerber made 31 saves for Ottawa, while Martin Brodeur stopped 23 shots for New Jersey.
Ottawa snapped a 1-1 tie early in the third period when Chris Kelly picked up a loose puck behind the net and fed Shean Donovan, who beat Brodeur from in close. Mike Fisher added an insurance goal with 6:26 left, and Daniel Alfredsson scored into an empty net with 1.1 seconds left.
For a while it looked as though the new 32-foot, 65,000-pound scoreboard wouldn't get much of a workout as neither team scored in the first period, though the Devils outshot the visitors 18-5.
Ottawa's Andrej Meszaros scored the arena's first goal five minutes into the second period with a slap shot from just inside the blue line that squeezed through a crowd in front to beat Brodeur.
The goal brought a smattering of boos from the restless crowd, but those turned to cheers nine minutes later when Gionta tied it.
Gionta took a pass from Patrik Elias on the right wing and centered a pass for Travis Zajac that Gerber knocked away only to have it deflect off the skate of defenceman Anton Volchenkov and into the net.
The power-play goal was the first allowed on the road by the Senators this season. Entering the evening, they were 16-for-16 killing penalties away from home.
Notes: The Devils entered the game having scored more goals than just two teams (Phoenix and Nashville), while Ottawa had allowed the second-fewest goals in the league (17) behind St. Louis ... The Senators have scored the first goal in all nine of their wins ... All 17,600 tickets were sold for the game ... The Senators play six of their next seven games at Scotiabank Place, starting with next Thursday 's matchup against the Atlanta Thrashers. Fewer than 2,000 tickets remain for that game.