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Senators-Devils tied 1-1 in mini-controversies; Sens arena workers may strike

In Game 2, the Sens were incensed that the timekeeper in New Jersey started the clock late on a faceoff in the Devils' end with 2.7 seconds left in the first period, allowing time for Sergei Brylin to give his team a 2-0 lead with 0.2 of a second left in the period.

That was put down to human error.

In Game 3 on Monday night in Ottawa, the Devils were upset that Mike Fisher clipped goalie Martin Brodeur's skate while passing in front of the crease just before Tom Preissing broke a 0-0 tie at 4:46 of the third period of a 2-0 win.

But both teams put the incidents behind them on Tuesday.

Brodeur felt the goal should have been waived off due to goaltender interference, but he said "These things happen in every series in the NHL. (Controversial) decisions are made. Errors are part of the game. We all make them. You have to turn the page."

Ottawa coach Bryan Murray agreed.

"I always believed these things balance out," said Murray. "We just hope that over time, they work themselves out and the best team wins a series."

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Strike threat - If a sixth game is necessary in the Ottawa-New Jersey series, it could be disrupted by a strike by workers at Scotiabank Place.

The 61 arena workers, including the Zamboni drivers, are demanding improved working conditions and a raise in their $10 per hour salaries.

This week, the workers voted by 86 per cent to strike. They will be in legal position to walk out on May 7 - the day of a potential Game 6. Ottawa leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 going into Game 4 on Wednesday.

If Ottawa advances and the strike goes on, it could also affect games in later rounds of the playoffs.

The rink staff have been certified with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) for a year, but have yet to negotiate an agreement with the arena operator, Capital Sports Properties Inc.

"Our members don't want a strike to disrupt our hockey and other entertainment - we're fans too," said union representative Andy Mele. "What we need is a fair contract."

The workers prepare the arena for hockey games, concerts and other events and provide maintenence, including ice resurfacing.

A union statement said a strike "could affect. . . hockey playoffs and other scheduled entertainment."

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