SUNRISE, Fla. -- New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur will be manning the goal crease in Game 7 of a playoff series for the 10th time in his illustrious career Thursday when his team battles the Florida Panthers in the final game of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal here at BankAtlantic Center (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, NBCSN [JIP], TSN).
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brodeur, who is 11-12 with a 1.98 goals-against average in elimination games, is second only to Hall of Famer Patrick Roy (13) in Game 7 starts. He's 5-4 in his first nine Game 7s.
Brodeur said his most memorable Game 7 was a 24-save, 3-0 shutout against the Anaheim Ducks to win the 2003 Stanley Cup.
"I remember a lot of them. I remember the ones I want to remember," Brodeur said. "I think everybody has to dig deep, play well and leave it out there and we'll see."
If the Devils fail to advance beyond the opening round for the fifth straight season, would Brodeur consider this to be one of his most disappointing setbacks?
PANTHERS VS. DEVILS
Devils beat Panthers in OT to force Game 7By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer
Travis Zajac ripped home a wrist shot from the left circle 5:39 into overtime Tuesday night, enabling the Devils to live another day with a 3-2 win against the Panthers and force a Game 7 back in Florida.
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"I'll be honest, losing in the Stanley Cup Final [in 2001] was probably the hardest thing I ever went through, and then losing to the Rangers in the conference final [in 1994] was probably the second-hardest," Brodeur said. "When you're so far from the goal and you lose, it's hard at the moment, but I think you go over it but look at the team that had success and played you and realize what they were able to do."
Brodeur shook his head when the media present reminded him of the team's third-period meltdown against the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2009 conference quarterfinals. The Hurricanes scored twice in the final 80 seconds for a 4-3 Game 7 win at New Jersey.
"You had to bring it up … didn't you?" Brodeur said, smiling.
"If you lose a Game 7, it's tough because you've experienced the adversity and the success, but like 29 other teams, you're not going to win the Stanley Cup," he said. "But it's worth giving it a shot. I was lucky to win three of them, and the upside is a lot better than the downside."
Brodeur said he expects the Devils to come out with the same intensity and enthusiasm they had in their 3-2 overtime in Game 6 on Tuesday.
"We know those guys are playing well in their building," Brodeur said of the Panthers. "We played with a lot of desperation [in Game 6] and it worked out well. We're going to expect the Panthers to do the same thing, knowing that we'll have a decision on whether we're moving on or going home."
The Devils are 6-7 all time in Game 7s. Their last Game 7 win was against Anaheim in the Stanley Cup Final on June 9, 2003.
Follow Mike Morreale at: @mike_morreale