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Brodeur and Devils blank Flyers 3-0

by John Kreiser /
Devils' goalie Martin Brodeur made 36 saves as New Jersey defeated Philadelphia 3-0 on Friday night for their 11th straight home win over the Flyers.
Whether it’s in the Meadowlands or in Newark, the New Jersey Devils continue to have the Philadelphia Flyers’ number at home.
The Devils got a 36-save performance by Martin Brodeur and first-period goals by Paul Martin and Travis Zajac to beat Philadelphia 3-0 on Friday night for their 11th consecutive home victory over the Flyers.
The Flyers lost their last eight games in the Meadowlands after winning on March 9, 2004, and have lost their first three trips to the Prudential Center in Newark, which opened in October. Overall, the Devils are 4-1-0 against Philadelphia this season and 14-1-1 in their last 16 meetings.
''They play a hard-nosed game when we face them, and for whatever reason we match that intensity,'' Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner said.
Flyers coach John Stevens had no answer for his team’s struggles against New Jersey.
"I'm not sure if it's a psychological barrier, but our team lacked a little energy early on, then we get down and we turn it on and start playing hard," Stevens said. "We keep talking about this being a new team. What happened before happened before, but this is a new group here, and it's up to us to forge our way through this division rivalry with the Devils."
The shutout was Brodeur’s fourth of the season and 96th of his career, second on the all-time list behind Terry Sawchuk’s 103.
''It's a number on the way to a bigger number,'' Brodeur said about No. 96. ''I shut them out, but we got a win and everybody is happy. I'm happy, too.”
Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn figured in both of the Devils’ first-period goals.
Coburn shoved New Jersey center Dainius Zubrus into goalie Martin Biron near the left post as Martin circled the net, came out in front and found an opening at 9:41 for his first goal since Nov. 23.
At 17:31, Zajac got a gift when Coburn fell down in his own zone and lost the puck, allowing him to go in alone and beat Biron from the lower right circle for his first goal 12 games.
''It's disappointing,'' Biron said. ''We felt like we handed them a couple of goals.''
The early lead made life much more pleasant for Brodeur, who stopped 11 shots in each of the first two periods and 14 more in the third to beat the Flyers for the 40th time in his career — the most he’s beaten any team.
“It makes my job a lot easier when we start the game with a little cushion,” he said after his 515th career victory. “They got a lot of shots, but most of them were from the outside.”
Patrik Elias stretched the lead to three with 7:15 remaining in the second period when he got to a rebound after his shot hit players in front and scored his ninth goal. It was New Jersey's first in five power-play chances and broke a 1-for-21 drought over six games.
Despite the Devils’ success against their Atlantic Division rivals, forward John Madden doesn’t feel they dominate the Flyers.
“We’ve played pretty good against them. I wouldn’t say we dominated them,” Madden said. “They had plenty of chances. We were fortunate enough to take advantage of a couple of chances, and that makes it tough for the other team.”
Philadelphia had won three straight after an 0-4-2 skid. The Flyers have three games left on a six-game trip that continues Saturday at Toronto.
The Devils play at Boston on Saturday, and Brodeur said he wants to play that game, too — he’s started 10 in a row and 37 of New Jersey’s 41 games.

“Every time I go to the rink, I might as well play hockey,” he said.

Material from wire services and team online and broadcast media was used in this report.
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