The Devils played against a Ducks team who were one of the worst Cup finalists of all time. NJ was a much better team. Brodeur played a tremendous final that year, but even with Nieuwendyk out that NJ team was miles ahead of the Ducks.
Brodeur won the Ottawa series. His goaltending was the difference in Game 7. Ask Hossa. The Ducks weren't a great finalist but they defended home ice and pushed it 7. Even if they had no chance in Game 7.