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Marty Breaks Shutout Record

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CONGRATULATIONS TO MARTIN BRODEUR ON SHUTOUT #104! What a great way to get it done too. He did it after getting yanked in his last game in Atlanta, up against the division rival, Stanley Cup Champ, Pittsburgh Penguins and it put the Devils in sole possession of first place in the division. Whew! That was a lot to say, but they are all valid points and more to add on top of this incredible feat that Marty has accomplished. I just want anyone who is reading this to take a moment before I get into the actual game itself. Think about what 104 shutouts is. It means that he has had 6,240 minutes of shutout hockey. On 104 separate occasions, the opposition has been unable to put anything past him. With all the rule changes to the game that has favored the offense; he still manages to put up zeros. When Sawchuk did it, he didn’t face as many different teams, in as many nights or in as many cities. For Brodeur to break this record now, in this day in age of the game is an achievement that I think ranks among the best in sports. Once again, congrats to the greatest goaltender of all time, who now only has playoff records left to break (I have no doubt you can do that too).

Now, onto the game itself tonight. The Devils came into Pittsburgh riding a four game winning streak and a come from behind win against the Thrashers on Saturday night. The Penguins came into the contest on a win streak of their own, winning their last five games. One win streak would have to come to an end tonight and it wouldn’t be the one from the good guys. Jersey looked ready tonight from the get go, almost looking like they wanted to get an early lead and run with it for Brodeur. Not even five minutes had passed when Bryce Salvador got his second goal of the year after a cross-ice pass from Dean McAmmond and he unleashed a wrist shot right over Fleury, high glove side (4:39 into the first). The rest of the period saw some physical play from both sides, but it was Pittsburgh who put the puck on net the most as they out shot Jersey 10-5 in the first.

The second was where the Devils exploded! We got a power play carry over from the first and who else but leading candidate for the Calder Trophy, Niclas Bergfors scored his twelfth goal of the year, as New Jersey capitalized on a power play chance and widened the lead. This was Bergies third goal of the season against the Pens and he got it on a smart pass from Zach Parise. Parise just made a quick pass behind himself to Bergfors as the Devils were rushing into the Pittsburgh zone and he took it from there, getting a sharp angle wrist shot off onto Fleury that beat him low and to the blocker side (0:23 into the second). The goal after this one was the true testament to how this game played out. It was scored after relentless Devils pressure, as they just got rebound after rebound from consecutive shots on Fleury, until Patrik Elias finally shot it in, and they went up by a score of 3-0 (8:27 into the second). The Pens were slipping and slipping fast in this frame of the game. Just a few minutes after the Elias goal, Mark Fraser would get his second goal of the year after the puck escaped a bunch of bodies in front of the net, making its way to the big D-man as he would belt a slap-shot, Fleury didn’t stand a chance (11:03 into the second).

It is now the third and everyone was thinking the same thing “is this the night Brodeur will break Terry Sawchuk’s shutout record?” Although they were dominated through out, the Penguins would not make it easy on him to do so. They got 14 shots off on him in the period and most of them were good shots including a power play opportunity in which Malkin got a big time shot on Marty, but he turned it aside. The clock continued to tick, but it seemed to take forever. Tick, tock, tick tock, he continued to make saves on big time names including Sid the Kid. With about 1:40 left to play in the third, Crosby ripped a shot from the slot that rang off the outside of the post, wow that was close! Then he would get a big time glove save on Malkin with even less time left! But, finally the clock would hit 00:00 and the wait was over, Brodeur is the leader in yet another category as he shuts out the offense heavy Penguins 4-0, turning away all 35 shots he faced. Simply outstanding.

The obvious story of the game was Brodeur, but the more important thing about this game was who we beat. The Penguins were hot and we completely shut them down in every way. We took a few penalties in this one tonight, so it wasn’t like they didn’t have a lot of chances; we gave them a few, but killed all of them. This was the third time we faced them this year and the third time we beat them, impressive to say the least. Next up for New Jersey is another beast in the east, the Washington Capitals, as they will travel to D.C. for a 7:00 game on Saturday night after the Christmas break.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and once again CONGRATUALTIONS TO MARTIN BRODEUR ON #104!

Here is what some people around the league are saying about Marty and his record breaking performance, read it here.

Complete Shutout List

THREE STARS
1st Star2nd Star3rd Star
DEVILS
Martin Brodeur
SVSV%GA
351.0000
DEVILS
Zach Parise
GAPTSSOG
0339
DEVILS
Patrik Elias
GAPTSSOG
1123