NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -Returning late last month after a four-month layoff following elbow surgery, Martin Brodeur glanced at the schedule and noticed the New Jersey Devils would be in his hometown of Montreal on March 14.
He knew there was an outside chance that he might have a shot at tying or breaking Patrick Roy's record for career wins, but he didn't give it much thought.
The 36-year-old, four-time Vezina Trophy winner is going to get a shot at tying Roy's mark of 551 on Saturday when the Devils play the Canadiens, the team Brodeur grew up rooting for.
"I didn't expect myself to be in this position to be honest," Brodeur said after making 26 saves and posting win No. 550 in a 5-2 decision over Phoenix on Thursday night. "I didn't have any expectation about my return. I just wanted to play well and get in a groove."
The victory was Brodeur's sixth in seven games since returning on Feb. 26. He missed 50 games after having a torn biceps in his left elbow repaired.
"Now, there's something to really get excited about, with the possibility of tying it on Saturday," Brodeur said after the Devils set a franchise record with their ninth straight home win. "I'm happy we won and I'll be very happy to tie it in Montreal. It just adds to the story. You can't ask for a better script. Everything happens for a reason. I just want to be able to put this all behind me. It feels good to be back playing and to get a chance like this."
Zach Parise, with his 40th goal of the season, and John Madden scored in the opening 2:56 as the Devils won for the 11th time in 14 games. Dainius Zubrus, Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac also tallied against Josh Tordjman, a 24-year-old goalie making only his second start. This one came against his fellow Montreal native.
"It is going to be unbelievable," Tordjman said about the game in Montreal. "He is getting a chance to do it where Patrick had glorious years of his career. Definitely it will be special for Marty and a big moment in the history of hockey."
At Detroit, Olli Jokinen and Mike Cammalleri scored shootout goals, and Jokinen also scored twice in regulation for Calgary.
Calgary overcame a 4-2 deficit with three goals in a 2:02 span late in the third period before Dan Cleary tied it for Detroit with 42 seconds remaining.
Daymond Langkow also scored for Calgary, and Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 40 shots.
Nicklas Lidstrom had a goal and two assists for Detroit, Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson and Valtteri Filppula also scored.
At Columbus, Ohio, Kristian Huselius had a goal in regulation and the only shootout goal, and the Blue Jackets won after blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.
After allowing three goals in a 3:25 span of the final period, Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason stopped Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the shootout.
The Blue Jackets tied a franchise record for wins in a season with their 35th, and ended the Penguins' winning streak at seven.
At Nashville, Tenn., Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves to reach 30 wins for the fourth straight season, Sean Avery scored his first goal since returning to the Rangers, and Scott Gomez had a goal and two assists.
Marc Staal and Fredrik Sjostrom also scored for New York. Shea Weber and J.P. Dumont scored for Nashville.
At St. Louis, Andy McDonald had a goal and an assist, Brad Boyes scored his team-leading 28th goal, and Chris Mason made 24 saves for the Blues.
Barret Jackman added an empty-netter. Patrick Marleau scored his 35th goal for San Jose, 1-4-1 in its last six games to slip to second in the Western Conference.
At Philadelphia, Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 48th goal and added an assist, and Jose Theodore made 35 saves for Washington.
Ovechkin assisted on Brooks Laich's first-period goal, then scored the go-ahead goal in the second to lift the Capitals to their fifth straight road victory.
Mike Knuble scored for Philadelphia.
At Buffalo, N.Y., Patrick Lalime made 30 saves to improve to 3-4-1 since taking over for injured Sabres starter Ryan Miller.
Jaroslav Spacek had a goal and assist, and Daniel Paille and Thomas Vanek also scored. Michal Repik scored for Florida.
At Dallas, Steve Begin and Brendan Morrison scored their first goals for the Stars, who ended a six-game home losing streak.
Mike Ribeiro, Begin and Morrison scored during the first 9:51 of the second period after Rod Brind'Amour's short-handed tally put the Hurricanes in front in the first.
Marty Turco, starting for the 37th time in Dallas' last 38 games, made 29 saves
Ray Whitney also scored for Carolina.
At Denver, Milan Hejduk and Wojtek Wolski scored shootout goals for Colorado, and Peter Budaj stopped both of Minnesota's attempts in the tiebreaker.
Budaj made 16 saves for his 18th win of the season.
Marc-Andre Bergeron scored, and Niklas Backstrom made 35 saves for Minnesota.
At Montreal, Kyle Okposo scored at 26 seconds of overtime for New York, slipping a shot under Carey Price's pads from the right edge of the crease.
Frans Nielsen and Mike Iggulden, with his first NHL goal, also scored, and former Canadiens goalie Yann Danis made 24 saves.
Tom Kostopoulos and Tomas Plekanec scored for Montreal.
At Boston, Aaron Ward scored his first NHL short-handed goal, and Phil Kessel scored twice in East-leading Boston's fifth victory in 16 games.
P.J. Axelsson and Chuck Kobasew also scored, and Tim Thomas made 25 saves. Jason Spezza scored twice, and Christoph Schubert added a goal for Ottawa.
At Edmonton, Alberta, former Edmonton center Marty Reasoner beat Dwayne Roloson on a breakaway at 4:10 of overtime to give Atlanta its fourth straight victory.
Jim Slater, Bryan Little and Zach Bogosian scored in regulation for Atlanta. Shawn Horcoff, Patrick O'Sullivan and Robert Nilsson scored for Edmonton.
At Toronto, Matt Pettinger, Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone and Paul Szczechura scored, and Karri Ramo made 20 saves for Tampa Bay.
Lee Stempniak scored for Toronto.
|Zach Parise (40) ASST: Jamie Langenbrunner (37), Paul Martin (22)|
1 - 0 NJD
|John Madden (7) ASST: Johnny Oduya (21), Mike Rupp (6)|
2 - 0 NJD
|PPG - Scottie Upshall (10) ASST: Petr Prucha (8), Matthew Lombardi (24)|
2 - 1 NJD
|Dainius Zubrus (14) ASST: Brendan Shanahan (6), Bryce Salvador (10)|
3 - 1 NJD
|Patrik Elias (27) ASST: Brian Gionta (36), Bryce Salvador (11)|
4 - 1 NJD
|PPG - Travis Zajac (19) ASST: Brian Rolston (12), Patrik Elias (44)|
5 - 1 NJD
|Steve Reinprecht (12) ASST: Dmitri Kalinin (13), Shane Doan (32)|
5 - 2 NJD
|Power Play %||20.0%||19.3%|
|% on Road||23.2%||21.6%|
|% at Home||17.0%||17.3%|
|Dainius Zubrus Hi stick - double minor against Ed Jovanovski|
|Bryce Salvador Fighting (maj) against Brandon Prust|
|Brandon Prust Fighting (maj) against Bryce Salvador|
|Bobby Holik Hooking against Daniel Winnik|
|Scottie Upshall Hooking against Travis Zajac|
|Dmitri Kalinin Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Scottie Upshall Cross checking against Patrik Elias|
|Patrik Elias Cross checking against Scottie Upshall|
|David Clarkson Roughing against Petr Prucha|
|Brandon Prust Fighting (maj) against David Clarkson|
|David Clarkson Fighting (maj) against Brandon Prust|