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game recap

Boucher's goal lifts Devils

New Jersey gets past Edmonton after honoring Brodeur

by Mike G. Morreale / Staff Writer

Boucher's go-ahead PP goal in 3rd

EDM@NJD: Boucher goes top-shelf for PP goal in 3rd

2/6/16: Reid Boucher settles a pass on the power play and rips a snap shot into the top corner of the net to put the Devils on top in the 3rd

  • 01:05 •

NEWARK, N.J. -- Goaltender Cory Schneider had every reason to make an impression the night the New Jersey Devils paid tribute to his predecessor and one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history.

He did just that with 19 saves to help New Jersey to a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers after the Devils retired former goalie Martin Brodeur's No. 30 in a pregame ceremony at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

Reid Boucher and Adam Henrique each had a goal and an assist for the Devils (27-21-7), who ended a three-game losing streak. Boucher's goal, which came off a wrist shot from the right circle 7:13 into the third period, gave the Devils a 2-1 lead and came less than minute after Devils forward Jacob Josefson missed an empty net with Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot out of position at the right post.

Schneider was backed by a stifling defensive game plan, but made several key saves. He denied Taylor Hall off a breakaway less than a minute into the game, and stopped Connor McDavid with his blocker off another breakaway 7:19 into the first.

Video: EDM@NJD: Scnheider stones Letestu twice on two-on-one

"This night seems fitting but we really settled down, got to our game plan and took it to them in the second and third periods," Henrique said. "I thought we played very well and special teams came up big in the third."

McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, had one assist and two shots on goal. He has two goals and seven points in five games since returning to the lineup on Feb. 2 from a broken left clavicle.

"I think [McDavid] is so unpredictable and maybe he thought I was waiting for that cut back, but I got a piece of it with the blocker and then it hit the post," Schneider said.

Schneider made consecutive saves against Oilers forward Mark Letestu at the left post off a 2-on-1 with Hall early in the second and another against Letestu off an uncontested snap shot from the left circle with one second left in the third and Talbot pulled for an extra skater.

Video: EDM@NJD: Henrique's PP tally puts Devils ahead in 1st

"The first 10-to-15 minutes of the game they got free a couple times and had some chances, but we adjusted well," Schneider said. "Our defensemen did well and our forwards were back-checking. You could sense their skill guys weren't a factor in the second half of the game."

Schneider and his teammates were on the ice when the Devils honored Brodeur and he was moved by the tribute. He's also glad former Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello had enough faith in his ability to trade for him in June 2013 to one day become Brodeur's successor. Lamoriello currently serves as GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"I think Lou instilled in New Jersey for many years that offense comes and goes, but defense wins championships and they proved that with the three Stanley Cup wins," Schneider said. "He always built from the net out, and was never shy to say that, especially with Marty as the backbone."

When Schneider arrived in New Jersey, Brodeur had already won the Stanley Cup three times, the Vezina Trophy four times, and set every significant NHL goaltending record in 20-plus seasons with the Devils.

Video: EDM@NJD: Oilers get even on Eberle's goal in 1st

"For me, I looked at it as a point of pride that he viewed me as a similar type player that he can build a team around, so I wanted to do anything I could to play a similar role that Marty did for this organization," Schneider said. "Marty is a unique and special player that will never be replaced here, but I feel I can fill a similar role."

Jordan Eberle scored and Talbot made 24 saves for the Oilers (21-29-5), who have lost three straight.

"I don't think our team shot enough," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "We have to push the needle forward."

Eberle scored in the first to make it 1-1 at 11:39. McDavid set up the goal after winning an offensive-zone faceoff against Josefson and weaving his way through two players before dropping a pass to Benoit Pouliot low in the left circle. Pouliot passed to Eberle at the right post for his 15th of the season.

Henrique gave the Devils a 1-0 lead 10:33 into the first on a power-play goal to extend his point streak to three games. Boucher got the initial shot on Talbot and Henrique knocked in the rebound from the slot. The Devils finished 2-for-5 on the power play; the Oilers were 0-for-3.

Video: EDM@NJD: Schneider gets a piece of McDavid's shot

"I thought the first period was back and forth a bit and then we settled in," Henrique said. "We were hard on pucks and winning those puck battles in the second and third period."

The Brodeur retirement ceremony lasted about one hour prior to the game. The celebration featured several former players, coaches and family members. Former teammates Patrik Elias and Ken Daneyko, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Lamoriello, who was GM for the Devils during Brodeur's 21-plus seasons with New Jersey, gave speeches during the event.

"The ceremony certainly adds a little pressure to getting a win, I think," Boucher said. "You don't want to spoil that night by losing and we're also playing for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so those were two big points for us."

The Devils are 4-0-0 on the nights they retire a jersey of a former player. New Jersey retired the numbers of Scott Stevens (No. 4 retired on Feb. 3, 2006), Ken Daneyko (No. 3, March 24, 2006), and Scott Niedermayer (No. 27, Dec. 16, 2011).

Brodeur said afterward that closure to his playing career was on his mind as he watched his jersey number being raised to the rafters before a standing ovation.

Video: EDM@NJD: Brodeur thanks Devils fans for support

"You kind of look at the [No. 30] going up and say 'This is it,'" Brodeur said. "After that I'll have to beg to get cheered like that. I would have been a pretty confident kid to think this would be the way my career would end up, but it's nice to know that again along the way we created some great memories and a lot of great success."

Brodeur led the NHL in wins nine times and finished in the top five on five other occasions. The seven-time All-Star and four-time Vezina Trophy winner holds NHL goaltending records for wins (691), shutouts (125), games played (1,266) and minutes played (74,439). He also won 40 or more games eight times in his career. In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brodeur ranks first in shutouts (24) and second in wins (113).

"Hopefully there will be players who played or will play for the Devils in the future that will get their number retired because this is a great hockey franchise and I hope it's going to stay here for a long time and be successful for a long time," Brodeur said.

Video: Devils' PP leads the way in win over Oilers

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