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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Brodeur starts playoffs with more milestones to reach

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur will look to become only the second goalie in NHL history to reach the century mark in playoff wins when the New Jersey Devils open their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Florida Panthers on Friday at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise.

Brodeur, who has basically rewritten the regular-season record book for goalies in career games (1,191), victories (656), shutouts (119) and minutes played (70,028), would join Hall of Famer Patrick Roy as the only players to win 100 playoff games.

"It would be nice," Brodeur said. "Durability and my being able to start so many playoff games in a row is something I'm taking a lot of pride in. I've been blessed over my career, injury-wise and that the team had confidence in me, putting me in there year in and year out."

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Roy finished with 151 wins in 247 games spanning 18 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. Brodeur enters this year's playoffs having won 99 games in 181 appearances spanning 18 seasons with just one team -- the Devils.

Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk expects Brodeur to get his milestone win sooner rather than later.

"We'll make sure he gets that as soon as possible because he was unbelievable all year long, and he deserves all what he gets because he's not just an unbelievable player, but he is a great person and that makes him special," Kovalchuk told NHL.com.

The next-closest active goalie to 100 playoff wins is Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury, who has 41 in 70 games, and ranks 20th all-time.

"It's been a pretty neat experience for me to be a part of a lot of the records he's gotten," Devils captain Zach Parise told NHL.com. "I guess it was good timing on my part since I was on the ice and playing a lot of times when he was breaking or tying records. I guess [100 career playoff wins] will be a neat one for him to get."

Rounding out the top six are Grant Fuhr (92 wins in 150 games), Billy Smith (88 in 132), Ed Belfour (88 in 161) and Ken Dryden (80 in 112).

"In the playoffs, the team must be good in order for you to be successful and advance," Brodeur said. "When you have a team that doesn't rely on one or two players, it's a lot easier to handle those pressure situations. I'm old now and there's a lot going against me, so it's nice to go out and try to perform.

"Everybody is looking forward to seeing our team perform and especially in our locker room … it's been a great season, and to be back in the playoffs is fun. I'm enjoying the situation more than ever where I am in my career and where I'm going in my career -- this is a fun team to be a part of."

While he may be 52 wins from equaling Roy in playoff triumphs, the 39-year-old Brodeur does have a better goals-against average (2.01-2.30) and a marginally higher save percentage (.919-.918) than his boyhood idol, and has played 66 fewer playoff games.

On top of that, his next postseason shutout will be the 24th of his career, which would set yet another NHL standard. Brodeur and Roy are currently tied for the all-time lead with 23 shutouts apiece.

"Shutouts come from playing a lot of games and playing for a team that wins a lot of games," Brodeur said.

Evgeni Nabokov is the next-closest active goalie with seven playoff shutouts in 80 contests.

"The amazing thing about Marty and what separates him from a lot of other guys in the history of the game is his recollection of the game and its history," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "He's got a coaching type of mind in a world class player's body. I think that that's what has given him the edge on a lot of nights in and different situations."

Brodeur, who was 31-21-4 with a 2.41 GAA, three shutouts and a .908 save percentage in 59 games this season, believes denying the opposition momentum is such a key in the playoffs.

"I think that attitude of a goalie, in trying to be invincible and trying to be solid is important … the momentum in the game is really important," he said. "I think early or late in periods, allowing bad goals are tough to handle for teams that are in the playoffs because it's all about mood swings and momentum shifts. They are huge, especially in games and in a playoff series."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory