Brodeur becomes new all-time shutout leader
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:15 AM
Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing EditorNew Jersey Devils
goaltender Martin Brodeur
has run out of records to break.
Brodeur, 37, stopped all 35 shots he faced on Monday night to become the NHL's all-time shutout leader as he passed Terry Sawchuk with the 104th of his career in a 4-0 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins
at Mellon Arena.
Brodeur, who broke Patrick Roy's all-time wins record last season against Chicago and Roy's minutes played record last month in Boston, tied Sawchuk's mark on Dec. 7 in a 3-0 win at Buffalo. His first shutout came on Oct. 20, 1993 against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks at the Meadowlands.
"Tying it in Buffalo was pretty amazing," Brodeur said after blanking the defending Stanley Cup champs. "It's a great honor to be in this position, that's for sure. I got a little lucky, just like a goalie should be. It worked out well. It was a great effort from my teammates for me to be able to break it today."
Sawchuk recorded his 103 shutouts in 971 career games for the Red Wings, Bruins, Maple Leafs, Kings and Rangers.
"Terry Sawchuk set a shutout record that stood for more than 45 years and withstood the challenge of more than 500 goaltenders who have played in the National Hockey League since then," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Monday night. "By surpassing that record tonight, Martin Brodeur
reached yet another level of goaltending supremacy. The entire NHL family congratulates him, the Devils and every member of the organization who contributed to this marvelous accomplishment."
An accomplishment that Devils coach Jacques Lemaire feels will never be topped.
"I think it will never be broken," Lemaire said after watching Brodeur break Sawchuk's 40-year-old record. "It's hard for a goaltender. They do have a lot of pressure … you get into the playoffs and the run is tough for a goaltender, especially Marty. The thing is, he's in the net for 60 of the (82) games. It demands a lot. It tells you how good this guy's been. He's getting older, and he's still in the net mostly every game, and doing well."
Brodeur had a busy first period, as the Devils were outshot 10-5, yet headed to the first intermission with a 1-0 lead on a goal by Bryce Salvador
New Jersey then erupted for three more tallies in the second period, as Niclas Bergfors, Patrik Elias
and Mark Fraser
all beat Marc-Andre Fleury
and ended the Pens' goalie's night prematurely. The Devils outshot Pittsburgh 16-11 in the second.
"It seemed like we were playing for the Stanley Cup," said Elias, who has eight goals this season. "We just wanted to get it done for him. He just goes about his business. He took it as another game."
The Pens did everything they could in the third to make sure that Monday wouldn't be the night, but Brodeur made 14 saves in the final 20 minutes to secure the record. He made two big saves on Sidney Crosby
before snatching Evgeni Malkin
's chance out of the air with his glove in the final minute.
''It's pretty incredible. The records are piling up,'' Crosby said of Brodeur. ''He's a legendary goalie and he proves it every year.''
Not only did Brodeur's performance earn him the record-breaking shutout, but it also gave the Devils (26-8-1) their fifth straight win and sole possession of first place in the NHL standings with 53 points. New Jersey is 13-2-1 on the road.
"They definitely had some quality chances on us," Brodeur said. "I'm definitely happy that it's passed, and now we can just play. There's a lot of real estate to cover until the end of the year. Right now, we're going in the right direction."
Brodeur has appeared in 1,032 NHL games -- all with the Devils -- since being drafted by the club in the first round of the 1990 Entry Draft. Monday's win was the 580th of his career -- and perhaps his last in Mellon Arena, which will shut its doors after this season. Brodeur won 16 of his final 20 games in the only building the Pens have ever called home.
''It's great that we got it the way we did, in maybe our last game here,'' Brodeur said.
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.