Devils G Brodeur aims to set single-season mark for wins

Apr 5, 2007 - 4:04 PM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Martin Brodeur's favorite television show is "24." But his favorite number is about to become "48."

With two Vezina Trophies, three Stanley Cups, six 40-win seasons and nine All-Star Game appearances already on his Hall-of-Fame resume, the 32-year-old goaltender of the New Jersey Devils is looking to gain sole possession of the NHL single-season record for victories Thursday with a triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Brodeur matched the mark Tuesday, when he notched his 47th win of the campaign in a shootout against the Ottawa Senators. He can eclipse the record - as well as help clinch the Atlantic Division title for New Jersey - vs. the team with which Hall of Famer Bernie Parent set it in 1973-74.

Entering 6-0-1 against Philadelphia this season, Brodeur has the chance to stand alone in the record books with the possibility of having Parent on hand as a witness. A two-time Conn Smythe and Vezina Trophy winner, Parent currently serves as a community relations ambassador.

On the verge of establishing such an astounding record, Brodeur certainly understands how difficult it was for Parent to post his.

"Through the years, I got to appreciate how hard it is to get to that 47 (win) plateau," Brodeur said. "Ironically, I tied him up with (a shootout). It's different than before. But it's still a lot of wins. You have to play a lot of games."

Playing a lot of games is nothing new to Brodeur. Regardless of whether he posts the historic win vs. the Flyers, the 20th overall pick in 1990 will set a personal high by appearing in his 78th game of the season.

In 1995-96, Brodeur also played in 77 contests. Should he appear in New Jersey's regular-season finale against the New York Islanders on Sunday as well, he will tie the single-season mark set by Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr, who saw action in 79 games in 1995-96 with the St. Louis Blues.

Despite already owning a share of the wins record, Brodeur is not ready to put himself on a pedestal. Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks currently has 46 victories with three games remaining, including a home contest against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.

"The next one will break it, but how long it's going to stick, I don't know," Brodeur said. "Roberto Luongo is head-to-head with me. We'll see how he does."

The Devils, who gave general manager Lou Lamoriello a win over the Senators in his first game behind the bench since firing coach Claude Julien on Monday, can lock up first place in the Atlantic and second overall in the Eastern Conference by earning a point against the Flyers.

New Jersey (48-24-8) enters with 104 points, three more than the Pittsburgh Penguins (45-24-11), who have just two games left on their schedule - including Thursday's road contest at Ottawa.

Should the Devils and Penguins finish tied in points, New Jersey will get the division crown by virtue of having posted more victories.






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