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Brodeur picks up 98th shutout

by Brian Compton
When the New York Rangers ousted the New Jersey Devils from the opening round of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, then-Rangers forward Sean Avery referred to Devils goalie Martin Brodeur as "Fatso."

On Wednesday night, the latter sure covered a lot of net.

Facing Avery for the first time since the playoffs, Brodeur stopped all 21 shots he faced to lead the Devils to a 5-0 win against Avery's new team, the Dallas Stars, at the Prudential Center.

Brodeur didn't really have to deal with No. 16 too much on this night, as he simply was able to stand his ground in the crease and ultimately earn the 98th shutout of his Hall-of-Fame career.


"That Avery guy? He got a whole bunch of nothing..."


"Turco needs time to stew and regain his form..."


"Understudies for now, but stars in the making..."

''It's two points,'' Brodeur said, as his team improved to 5-1-0. ''We just played our game and we didn't worry about him too much.''

Avery made headlines during the playoffs when he tried the unorthodox approach of waving his arms and stick in the face of Brodeur while he and the Rangers were on a power play. When the Rangers eliminated the Devils from the postseason, Brodeur refused to shake Avery's hand afterwards.

Brodeur gave Avery a few shoves to try to move him away from the crease in their latest meeting, and also sent a puck in his direction during a clearing attempt in the second period.

''He's a skill player when he plays hockey,'' Brodeur said. ''Today he played hockey and it showed. He made some good plays.''

So did John Madden, as the Devils forward scored a pair of goals against his former college teammate, Marty Turco in the second period. The Stars' netminder was replaced by Tobias Stephan after allowing three goals on 17 shots. Madden's second goal gave New Jersey a 3-0 lead.

''It's not like I'm never going to get scored on again, but if I didn't get scored on by college teammates ever again, it would be all right with me,'' said Turco, who played with Madden at the University of Michigan. ''This season, it just seems that people I've played with and know well have been getting goals. That's just a little extra personal anguish that you've got to endure."

Added Madden: "He's a quality goalie. I hate to see him struggle like that."

The Devils pulled away in the third period with goals from Zach Parise — who also had an assist — and David Clarkson, whose tally was his first of the season. Both teams went 0-for-4 on the power play.

Dallas (2-4-1) has yielded 29 goals — more than four per game.

"If you give up five goals on 20 shots, you're not going to win," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "You could be the 1980 Oilers, you're still not going to win."

Panthers 3, Senators 1 | VIDEO

Rostislav Olesz and Nathan Horton scored less than a minute apart early in the first period, and backup netminder Craig Anderson made 41 saves as Florida earned an impressive win against Ottawa at Scotiabank Place.

Considering the firepower that Ottawa possesses, it was important for Florida to get off to a fast start. The Panthers accomplished their mission as Olesz beat Martin Gerber 4:45 into the game before Horton put them up by a pair at 5:33. Florida also managed to hold the Sens to just three shots in the first period.

''We wanted to have a quick start, and the start won us the game,'' Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said.

It was quite the season debut for Anderson, who stopped 38 shots over the final two periods.

''It's good to get the first one out of the way — first win, first start, I just wanted to go out there and battle for the guys and make sure that I gave them a chance to win," Anderson said. ''We came out flying in the first and took it to them, I think, and we were able to get a good lead. After that, it was just holding down the fort."

Daniel Alfredsson cut the deficit in half when he scored on the power play 2:23 into the second period. With Noah Welch in the box, Alfredsson converted his own rebound for his second goal of the season. The Sens' captain had a goal disallowed late in the first when replays showed that he made contact with the puck above the crossbar. Cory Stillman restored Florida's two-goal lead by scoring with 8:03 left in the second.

"It's frustrating," Alfredsson said after Ottawa outshot Florida 26-3 in the third period but couldn't solve Anderson. "We really wanted to get off to a good start, and they got us on our heels. We struggled to get out of our own end and obviously they got some breaks right away. We were a much better team in the second and the third, but it's tough when you give up two goals early."


Red Wings 4, Blues 3 | VIDEO

Another road game, another win for Detroit.

Tomas Holmstrom scored for the fourth straight game, and Henrik Zetterberg found the back of the net in his return from injury as the Red Wings held off St. Louis at the Scottrade Center.

The loss snapped the Blues' three-game win streak on home ice, while the Red Wings improved to 3-0 away from Joe Louis Arena. Detroit is 4-0-1 since dropping its season opener on home ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"We've been a pretty good road team," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "To be a championship-level team, you have to be good in both places."

Zetterberg, who missed the past two games with a groin strain, opened the scoring with his second goal of the season at 11:52 of the first period. It was the first of three unanswered tallies by the Wings, who had a 3-0 lead before Keith Tkachuk scored with less than 30 seconds to play in the second.

"We were star struck for two periods," Blues goalie Manny Legace said. "We watched them skate around."

Holmstrom certainly has been a star for the Red Wings in the early going. He gave Detroit a 2-0 lead just 83 seconds into the second period when he one-timed Marian Hossa's feed past Legace for a power-play tally.

"Holmstrom is good at finding an open spot," Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said. "He doesn't need much to put the puck in the net."

St. Louis cut the lead to 3-2 when Brad Boyes notched his fifth goal of the season at 10:07 of the third. But Johan Franzen restored the two-goal lead less than five minutes to put the game out of reach. T.J. Oshie cut it to 4-3 when he beat Ty Conklin on the power play with 1:24 left in regulation.

"They've got a tremendous amount of talent and skill," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "Our game wasn't up to our standards tonight."

Blackhawks 3, Oilers 0 | VIDEO

So much for Edmonton's four-game winning streak.

Nikolai Khabibulin stopped all 23 shots he faced, and Patrick Sharp had a goal and an assist as Chicago improved to 2-0-1 under new coach Joel Quenneville with a win against the previously-unbeaten Oilers at the United Center.

"I like the look of our team right now," Quenneville said. "I've been very pleased with how diligent the guys are, preparing themselves and following the guidelines."

Sharp needed just 2:36 to notch his fifth goal of the season. With the Blackhawks on a power play, Sharp completed a nifty give-and-go with captain Jonathan Toews, as he roofed a shot over Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson for the 1-0 lead.

"We had a well-rounded scoring group tonight," Sharp said. "More than anything, we're trying to put the puck on net, and we're glad when they go in."

Chicago's special teams mastery continued late in the first, as Brent Seabrook put the Hawks up by a pair with a shorthanded tally at 18:35. With Ben Eager in the box, Seabrook finished off an odd-man rush when he took a pass from Dave Bolland and ripped a shot from the slot past Roloson to make it 2-0.

"We knew we were a good team from the start," Seabrook said, referring to Chicago's 1-2-1 opening to the season that cost Denis Savard his coaching job. "As a team, we knew our poor start wouldn't last forever."

Speaking of poor starts, the Oilers knew they wouldn't get away with them forever. On Wednesday, it caught up to them in Chicago.

"We just weren't ready to play from the start," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "We've gotten away with it in at least two of the first four games. We knew it was not going to be long before it was going to bite us in the rear end, and it took a big chunk out of us."

Aaron Johnson rounded out the scoring with his first goal of the season at 12:17 of the second period. The Blackhawks tightened up defensively in the third period, as they allowed just five shots on goal to deny any chance of an Edmonton comeback.

"We were flat tonight," Roloson said. "We just didn't play our game. We're all professional, and we all have to get past this."

Material from wire services was used in this report.   

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