for this game

Rolston scores as Brodeur blanks Thrashers

Oct 17, 2008 - 4:03 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The New Jersey Devils may not be scoring a lot of goals, but Martin Brodeur is making sure they are getting the right results.

Brodeur turned aside 25 shots en route to his 97th career shutout and Brian Rolston netted a rare power-play goal to lead the Devils to a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday.

Dainius Zubrus and Brian Gionta notched assists for New Jersey, which improved to 3-1-0 on the young season despite scoring just six goals over that span.

"We are playing well so far this year," Zubrus said. "I think tonight we gave up too many chances, but Marty played great."

The Devils have struggled on offense this season, but thanks to their three-time Stanley Cup-winning future Hall of Fame netminder, they have been on the right side of the scoresheet more often than not.

The 36-year-old Brodeur once again kept another team at bay, stopping eight shots in the first period, seven in the second and 10 in the third to complete the shutout. He closed within six of tying Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk (103) for first place on the all-time list.

"It's nice to have (a shutout) early in the season," Brodeur said. "I feel good. It's all about winning.

"I just want to win games. Shutouts will come. It's hard to predict shutouts. Luck has a lot to do with it."

It also was the 541st career win for the four-time Vezina Trophy winner, who now trails Patrick Roy by 10 for the all-time mark. But after the game, the modest Brodeur would rather talk about the defense in front of him than his solid play.

"I think it's a combination of how we play defensively," he said. "We're not getting outshot. We always outchance the other team. Goals will come, we're not worried about that."

Atlanta defenseman Ron Hainsey had perhaps the best shot of the night against the elite netminder, hitting the goalpost during a man advantage in the third period. Besides that, it was another smooth night in the crease for Brodeur, who has allowed five goals in the club's first four games.

"We had about five good chances and he made some unbelievable saves," Hainsey said. "That's why he's coming up on being the best of all time."

"He was great," Atlanta goaltender Kari Lehtonen said. "We couldn't solve him. We definitely had some good chances. He was pretty good today."

Brodeur's strong play has masked the disastrous effort of the Devils' power-play unit. New Jersey limped into Atlanta misfiring on its last nine opportunities with the man advantage and having converted just one of 11 chances overall.

After two more wasted opportunities, New Jersey finally broke through behind a familiar face. And it was the law of averages that finally helped the Devils, who unleashed 21 shots at Lehtonen in the second period, break through.

"The difference tonight was our special teams," New Jersey coach Brent Sutter said. "We killed off some big penalties and got the power-play goal."

Blue-liner Garnet Exelby drew Atlanta's third penalty of the night - a roughing infraction - with 2:42 left in an uneventful second period for both clubs before Rolston snapped a scoreless tie with his first tally of the season.

A former first-round pick of New Jersey in 1991, Rolston played parts of his first six seasons with the franchise before returning this offseason as a free agent.

Zubrus dished the puck to Rolston from along the right wing boards, and the 35-year-old veteran made a strong move from behind the net for a wraparound attempt. Although the shot deflected off Lehtonen's right pad, Rolston stayed with the play, knocking in the puck near the right post with 63 seconds left in the middle period.

"I saw him jump in," Zubrus said. "I got Rolston the puck and he took it to the net hard."

But the news was not all good for Rolston, who left the game in the third period with a right ankle injury after crashing into the boards.

"I think I just have a high ankle sprain at this point," said Rolston, who was on crutches after the game. "I went (into the boards) funny, that's all."

"It's fortunate that it's an ankle sprain," Sutter added. "He'll be fine."

Lehtonen finished with 34 saves for the listless Thrashers, who fell to 1-2-1 on the season.






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    Devils 1, Thrashers 0  FinalOct 16 10:08 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 0 1
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) BRIAN ROLSTON 1 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, BRIAN GIONTA)
    18:57
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: NJD - 1 OF 3, ATL - 0 OF 5.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD

    Oct 16 9:25 PM
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    Devils 1, Thrashers 0  3rd - 1:00Oct 16 9:21 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 1
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER 1 (BRIAN ROLSTON, DAINIUS
    ZUBRUS) 18:57
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD 7 20 27
    ATL 8 7 15
    GO

    Oct 16 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 1
    ATLANTA 0
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER 1 (BRIAN ROLSTON, DAINIUS
    ZUBRUS) 18:57

    Devils 1, Thrashers 0  2nd - 1:03Oct 16 8:33 PM
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    Devils 1, Thrashers 0  2nd - 1:03Oct 16 8:33 PM
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    Devils 0, Thrashers 0  2nd - 8:00Oct 16 8:19 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 0
    ATLANTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD 7 7
    ATL 8 8
    GOALIES: NJD - MARTIN BRODEUR
    ATL - KARI LEHTONEN

    Oct 16 7:43 PM
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    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 14 2:14 PM