Brodeur Brilliant in Shutout of Pens

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The game was a classic goaltending clash that featured the Devils main-stay in net, Martin Brodeur and the Penguins backup Brent Johnson. It can be dubbed as a goalie duel due to how well each team played, putting up a high amount of shots on each. Brent Johnson stopped 31 out of 33 Devils shots (the 33rd shot was an empty netter) keeping his team right in the game until the clock struck zero. However, the man of the night, as it is on a lot of other nights, was Martin Brodeur. He was brilliant on the same night that he was named to the 2010 Canadian Olympic roster and it was quite evident he turned his game up a notch tonight. Marty stopped all 32 shots he saw come his way from the Pens, getting his second straight shutout against them in as many meetings. This proved to be much more of a challenge than the last game, as Pittsburgh had a bevy of opportunities to get on the scoreboard this evening. But, Mr. Shutout himself rose to every occasion making it a closed case for GM Steve Yzerman as to who is going to be the starter for team Canada in Vancouver.

The game started out as if it was going to either be a long night in net for Johnson or a shootout between the two because just under two minutes into the game, Niclas Bergfors (who has already eclipsed my predicted goal total for the year!) scored on a sharp angle shot on the near wall, getting it past Brent Johnson for his 13th of the year and fourth in four games against the Penguins (1:48 into the first from Zajac and Greene). After this, the game came to a scoring halt but not without plenty of scoring chances. Each team was putting up plenty of shots in each period.

SHOTS ON GOALS
1st2nd3rdTotal
Penguins914932
Devils12111033

But both goalies were focused on this night. Brodeur, who obtained his record breaking 104th shutout against Pittsburgh nine days ago, did everything he could to add to that record tonight. He faced slap-shots, wrist shots, snap shots, screen shots, wrap-arounds, you name it, he saved it tonight. As is the case in any one goal lead, the end of the game was the key point to a Devils victory. The Penguins were given a power play after Travis Zajac was called for holding. With the man advantage the Penguins pulled Johnson and they had a 6 on 4. The Devils defense stood strong around Marty clearing out any rebounds and it was here where Jamie Langebrunner nabbed a loose puck after the Pens were unable to get something set up and he took it all the way to the end for the empty net goal, sealing the Devils victory at 2-0.

The Devils handed Pittsburgh their third straight loss moving four points ahead of them and are now 4-0 against their Atlantic Division rival on the season. We have outscored Pittsburgh 14-2 and you can tell watching this game how truly frustrated they are playing against us, we are in their head and we can only go up from here. Now, the Devils face an even bigger challenge, going to Chicago on no rest. The Blackhawks are another one of the leagues best teams and the Devils will be facing them on the road and after a hard fought victory tonight. But Jersey has proven all year, they are up to any task that is put in front of them. This game will also be the first time we face former teammate John Madden. Madden left New Jersey during the off-season after the Devils made it apparent they will not be re-signing him and wished him the best in his future (we still love ya Johny). However, all reunions aside, if the Devils are able to pull a win out in Chicago, it will be one of the bigger wins of the year for them, seeing as how they are going on the road to face one of the best teams in the league, on no rest. The puck drops at 8:30 EST in Chicago. Go Devils!

THREE STARS
1st Star2nd Star3rd Star
DEVILS
Martin Brodeur
SVSV%GA
321.0000
PENGUINS
Brent Johnson
SVSV%GA
31.9691
DEVILS
Niclas Bergfors
GAPTSSOG
1014