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Brodeur perfect as Devils top Flyers at home again

Jan 5, 2008 - 4:28 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Until recently, goals in the first period were rare for the New Jersey Devils. Now that they have become a more common occurrence, it helped them do something they always seem to do - beat the Philadelphia Flyers at home.

Defenseman Paul Martin and Travis Zajac scored in the opening period and Martin Brodeur posted his fourth shutout of the season as the Devils extended their home winning streak over the Flyers to 11 games with a 3-0 victory Friday night at the Prudential Center.

Patrik Elias also had a power-play goal and an assist in his return from a groin injury.

Brodeur made 36 saves for New Jersey, which has won five of its last six overall and four in a row at its new arena. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner turned aside 11 shots in each of the first two periods and 14 in the third for 96th career shutout.

Brodeur, whose 40 career wins vs. Philadelphia is his highest total against any club, is seven blankings shy of tying Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk for the most in NHL history.

The Devils won their fourth straight over the Flyers overall and have not lost to them in New Jersey since March 9, 2004. New Jersey also has won 14 of the last 16 regular-season meetings (14-1-1) between the Atlantic Division rivals.

"We've got to beat somebody," Brodeur said. "It's definitely nice to be able to play well against someone like that. They're a top team in our division, a top team in this conference, and they have a lot of good players. We're playing them tough, we're playing them disciplined also, and we're making the right things (happen)."

"We keep talking about this being a new team," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "What happened before, happened before. But this is a new group here, and it's up to us to forge our own way through this division rivalry with the Devils."

While the Devils have won four of their first five meetings with the Flyers, they have struggled against some other divisional foes. New Jersey is a combined 0-5-3 vs. the New York Rangers and New York Islanders.

"You've got to do things right when you play (Philadelphia) because you know they're going to compete and play hard," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "And you have to do the same against them. We seem to play some of our better games (vs. the Flyers). For whatever reason, I can't answer that, but it's certainly been the case."

The latest victory came after the Devils scored twice in the first period for the second straight game. Before taking a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes Wednesday over Florida, New Jersey had not scored in the opening period in its previous eight contests.

"That's good. I think we've struggled in scoring goals a bit over the holidays," Brodeur said. "So now that it's over, it seems that the guys are back on track scoring goals, so it's definitely nice to see."

"It's always nice to play with a lead," added Sutter, whose team is 10-1-1 when ahead after one period and 15-0-0 when up after two. "Anytime you could do that, it's certainly beneficial to your hockey team. In the last two games, we've been able to do that, and it's been huge for us because it's given us the opportunity to have the lead and the momentum."

The Devils also had not taken a two-goal lead after one session since December 7. After doing so in each of the last two contests, their total for the season reached six, with three of those instances coming against Philadelphia.

"It's just one of those things," New Jersey's Zach Parise said. "I don't think any of us knew we hadn't scored in the first period for so long. I think if you're losing all the time, those things creep in and you start to hear about it. But when you're winning, you don't hear about it so much."

In this one, New Jersey capitalized on mistakes and never lost control.

Martin scored his second goal of the campaign at 9:41 of the first to give Brodeur all the offensive support he needed.

After skating down the right side untouched, the blue-liner cut to the doorstep. Martin appeared as if he was going to make a centering pass to former Flyer Dainius Zubrus, but Philadelphia defenseman Braydon Coburn pushed Zubrus into goaltender Martin Biron, and the Devils' defenseman buried a wrist shot for his 100th career point and a 1-0 lead.

"I thought right away, the first guy was going to come to me," Martin said. "He kind of circled off, and then when I was going to the net, Zubrus took the guy in front and no one really came to me. I figured I'd keep going. (Zubrus) did a good job of screening the goalie and tying him up in front, so I had all this room to work with and I was able to slide it in the back of the net."

The Devils doubled the advantage during a 4-on-4 situation that was created when Philadelphia's Joffrey Lupul was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Just 11 seconds later, Coburn fell in his own zone as he was preparing to make a pass to Jeff Carter, allowing Zajac to pounce on the puck and score on a short breakaway with 2:29 remaining in the period to end an 11-game goalless drought.

New Jersey made it 3-0 with 7:15 to go in the second.

After failing on their previous four power plays, the Devils struck when Carter was unable to clear the puck. The rebound of defenseman Andy Greene's shot came right to Elias, who beat Biron to the stick side from the left faceoff circle for his ninth tally.

"They seem to be a very opportunistic team, especially when we play them here in their building," Lupul said. "If we give them any chances, they always seem to come back and bite us."

Biron made 23 saves for the Flyers, who fell to 2-1-0 on their six-game road trip. They also failed to post their first four-game winning streak since capturing a season-high five in a row from October 10-20.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 2 1 0 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - PAUL MARTIN 2 (JOHNNY ODUYA, PATRIK ELIAS) 9:41
    NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 6 (UNASSISTED) 17:31
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) PATRIK ELIAS 9 (ANDREW GREENE, JAMIE
    LANGENBRUNNER) 12:45
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: PHI -

    Jan 4 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - PAUL MARTIN 2 (JOHNNY ODUYA, PATRIK ELIAS) 9:41
    NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 6 (UNASSISTED) 17:31
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) PATRIK ELIAS 9 (PAUL MARTIN, ZACH PARISE) 12:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL

    Jan 4 8:40 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    NEW JERSEY 3
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) PATRIK ELIAS 9 (PAUL MARTIN, ZACH PARISE) 12:45

    Flyers vs. DevilsJan 4 8:26 PM
  • 15
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Flyers vs. DevilsJan 4 8:21 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - PAUL MARTIN 2 (JOHNNY ODUYA, PATRIK ELIAS) 9:41
    NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 6 (UNASSISTED) 17:31
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 11 11
    NJD 11

    Jan 4 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    NEW JERSEY 2
    1ST PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 6 (UNASSISTED) 17:31

    Flyers vs. DevilsJan 4 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    NEW JERSEY 1
    1ST PRD: NJD - PAUL MARTIN 2 (JOHNNY ODUYA, PATRIK ELIAS) 9:41

    Flyers vs. DevilsJan 4 7:25 PM
  • 10
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Flyers vs. DevilsJan 4 5:11 PM
  • 5
    roots
    sdquinn Added 5 roots

    Flyers vs. DevilsJan 4 2:26 AM