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Brodeur records 82nd career shutout

Oct 27, 2006 - 1:59 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) - One day after the New Jersey Devils talked things out at a lengthy team meeting, Patrik Elias and Martin Brodeur did their talking on the ice.

Elias scored his first goal since opening night and Brodeur recorded a milestone shutout as the Devils ended a three-game losing streak with a 2-0 blanking of the Florida Panthers.

Coming off four losses in its previous five games, New Jersey held a 45-minute team meeting following practice on Wednesday.

In his first season as team captain, Elias said it was a matter of communication.

"We tried to clear things out," he explained. "We skated well tonight, kept it simple. We were jumping on them. That's the result of feeling good. Every one of us, you could see we were backing each other up."

The Devils had a 1-0 lead with 4:05 to go in the second period when Jamie Langenbrunner missed the net with a point-blank shot from the slot. Elias grabbed the rebound off the end boards and slid the puck between the pads of sprawled goaltender Alex Auld for his second goal of the season and first in nine games.

It was the second power-play goal of the night for New Jersey, which was 1-for-27 in the last five games.

"We got shots," Elias said. "We just started shooting, and it opened up right away. Then we got lucky on rebounds. A few pucks bounced our way."

The rest was up to Brodeur, who turned aside 29 shots for his second shutout of the season and 82nd of his career. That moved him into a tie for fourth place with Jacques Plante for fourth on the all-time list.

"'Devils' hockey,' it gets old to hear that," said Brodeur, who is 28-9-7 with five shutouts lifetime against Florida. "But we played well defensively and concentrated on the little things we weren't doing well."

Zach Parise had the other goal to help the Devils improve to 23-5-3 against Florida since January 1, 1998.

"I thought we were focused from start to finish," New Jersey coach Claude Julien said. "We made good decisions in different situations. I thought we were sharp tonight."

Auld made 21 saves for Florida, which was trying to build in its first road win of the season, a 4-2 triumph over the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

"I thought 5-on-5 we probably had the better of the play," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "The bottom line is they got two power-play goals. Special teams were the difference tonight."

The Panthers lost defenseman Mike Van Ryn, who injured his left shoulder following a hard hit by Cam Janssen in the second period. Van Ryn entered the game with nine points, tied for tops among NHL defensemen.

New Jersey also lost a key contributor when center Scott Gomez suffered a groin injury late in the second period.

"We'll wake up tomorrow and it'll be day-to-day," said Gomez, who had been reunited with linemates Elias and Brian Gionta. "Hopefully, the goal is (to play) Saturday (against Columbus)."

After failing to convert on a 61-second, two-man advantage, the Devils broke through with 63 seconds to go in the opening period. Off a goalmouth scramble, Parise slid the puck under a sprawled Auld for his fourth goal of the season.

"Once you get a couple of these greasy goals, then you can try making the fancy plays," Parise said.

Florida's best scoring chance came midway through the first period. Facing a half-empty net, Ville Peltonen got a rebound in the low slot, but Brodeur slid across the crease, sprawled and got a piece of the puck.

"Marty was Marty," Gomez said. "He did what he had to do."

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