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Brodeur survives shaky performance in Game 5

by Mike G. Morreale

-- It certainly wasn't one of the more memorable playoff performances put forth by New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.

But, in the end, the goalie admitted with a smile, "we got a win."

Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur
Goalie - NJD
RECORD: 11-5-1
GAA: 2.04 | SVP: 0.921
It was Brodeur's stickhandling error just 17 seconds into the third period that enabled the New York Rangers to pull into a 3-3 tie in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final at Madison Square Garden. The goal not only ignited the hometown faithful into a tizzy, but the chants of "Marty, Marty" also echoed throughout the arena.

"Yes, that was great [when the chants began]," Brodeur said. "That's as loud as they've been. If I come back here for Game 7, I hope they would do better."

Brodeur misplayed a dump-in to the left of the Devils' net and accidentally put the puck into the area outside the trapezoid behind the end line. As a result, the veteran keeper had to leave it while trying to skate back to his net just as Marian Gaborik banked a shot off him and off the right post.

While Brodeur did get his pad on the puck, it wasn't secured enough and Derek Stepan poked at the goalie as he skated into the crease. It was then the puck skittered over the line, giving Gaborik his first goal of the series.

"I was trying to play it and it skipped over my stick," Brodeur said. "I made a mistake and I'm just happy the boys bounced back and got a win for us."

Fortunately for Brodeur, who made 25 saves to pick up his 110th career playoff victory, the Devils scored two late goals to gain a 3-2 series lead following a 5-3 victory. New Jersey can return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2003 with a win in Game 6 on Friday night at Prudential Center.

"I think giving up a three-goal lead and coming back and winning the game late shows a lot," Brodeur said. "I thought we stayed composed even though we had a few bad breaks. Even the second goal [by Ryan Callahan 32 seconds into the second period], I'm still debating on if he kicked it in or not, but we just kept on going. We didn't play our best game, but got the win."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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