After missing 50 games, Martin Brodeur stepped out onto the ice at the Prudential Center and made it seem as if he was never gone.
In his first game back since recovering from surgery to repair a torn bicep, Brodeur stopped all 24 shots on way to the shutout and a 4-0 Devils win. The shutout and win put Brodeur closer to breaking two records that seemed to be a foregone conclusion for him to reach at the beginning of the season. Brodeur is now six wins shy of tying Patrick Roy's record of 551 wins and four shutouts shy of tying Terry Sawchuk's record of 103 careeer shutouts.
After a three game stretch that saw them get shutout twice, the Devils came out flying and were aggressive on the puck. Spending most of the first period in the offensive zone, Brodeur was allowed to settle into the game as he only faced five 1st period shots. After the first period, Brodeur seemed to get stronger as the game went on. Early in the 3rd period, with the Devils clinging to a 2-0 lead, Brodeur made some key saves to keep the score at 2-0.
Several times throughout the game a loud and large Thursday night crowd chanted "Marty, Marty, Marty...." and really gave the feel of excitement that could come this spring come playoff time. Now the questions that will surround Brodeur and the Devils will be how does Brodeur feel the day after his first game and with back-to-back games this weekend, will Brodeur play one or both?
- The Devils got all four of their goals with the Zajac-Parise-Langebrunner line on the ice. It was very noticeable that Sutter has become frustrated with the lack of offense from the other lines as he mixed up the lines all night to try and find a good combination. With players struggling offensively like: Zubrus (4pts. in 18 games), Gionta (4 pts. in 11 games), Rolston (7pts. in 15 games), Shanahan (1pt. in 9 games) and Madden (4pts, in 14 games) the Devils may be pressed to get a scoring centerman instead of the defensemen that have been rumored. Some names out their are Jokinen (PHO), Morrison (ANA), Connolly (BUF), Nylander (WAS), Spezza (OTT) and Antropov (TOR).
I am sure Lou would like to be able add both if possible and Jay Pandolfo played last night and me be being showcased for a potential trade. Pandolfo does have a no-trade clause, which would make it harder to trade him.