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Devils-Blues Preview @NHLdotcom
Devils-Blues Preview

GAME: New Jersey Devils (22-18-5) at St. Louis Blues (10-28-5).

TIME: Tuesday, 8 p.m. EST.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur is on the verge of another career milestone.

Brodeur looks to move into sole possession of fifth place on the all-time wins list, and lead the Devils to seven straight victories for the first time in nearly five years when they visit the lowly St. Louis Blues.

Brodeur earned his 423rd career victory to tie Tony Esposito on the list by stopping 29 shots in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Coming off consecutive shutouts against the Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks, Brodeur said he wasn't even aware that he had tied Esposito until after the game.

"Lou (general manager and coach Lou Lamoriello) just told me that," Brodeur said. "It's moving up, it's kind of nice. That means we're winning hockey games if I'm able to move up in that category."

Brodeur, in his 13th season, has stopped 135 of 143 shots to lead New Jersey to a season-high six straight wins. The Devils haven't won seven in a row since a franchise-record 13-game winning streak from Feb. 26-March 23, 2001.

Earlier this month, Brodeur moved past Esposito and Ed Belfour into seventh place all-time with 78 career shutouts.

Once he moves past Esposito on the wins list, the 33-year-old Brodeur will trail only Jacques Plante (435), Terry Sawchuk (447), Belfour (453) and Patrick Roy - who posted 551 career wins during a 19-year career with the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche.

Brodeur has won four straight starts against the Blues and has lost only three times in 13 appearances against them, posting a 2.48 goals-against average in those contests.

St. Louis is returning home after failing to post a win on its season-high five-game road trip.

Petr Cajanek and Mike Sillinger each scored in the first period Sunday, but Curtis Sanford gave up three goals to Carolina's Eric Staal as the Blues lost 4-2 for their sixth straight defeat.

Two of Staal's goals came with St. Louis down two men because of penalties.

"If we had been more disciplined - granted, there were some bad calls - but we needed to stay out of the box more," St. Louis defenseman Bryce Salvador said. "Five-on-five, we have lots of success, but we took too many penalties and it cost us."

The Blues were outscored 18-4 on the trip.

St. Louis' Doug Weight has three goals and five assists during a four-game home point streak. He has seven goals and 18 assists at home, but only two goals and 10 assists on the road this season.

STANDINGS: Devils - 49 points, 3rd place, 14 PB, Atlantic Division. Blues - 25 points, 5th place, 38 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Brian Gionta, 26 goals and 47 points; Scott Gomez, 26 assists; Colin White, 49 PIM. Blues - Sillinger, 15 goals; Weight, 28 assists and 37 points; Jamal Mayers, 95 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Devils - Power play: 16.5 percent (45 for 273), 19th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.8 percent (173 for 209), 15th. Blues - Power play: 14.7 percent (43 for 293), 26th. Penalty killing: 80.6 percent (216 for 268), 21st.

GOALTENDERS: Devils - Brodeur (20-14-3, 3 SO, 2.68 GAA); Scott Clemmensen (2-4-2, 3.83). Blues - Sanford (4-10-1, 2, 2.81); Jason Bacashihua (3-4-0, 3.95).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Devils, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 31, 2004; Devils, 4-1. At St. Louis, Brodeur made 30 saves and Gionta scored twice for New Jersey.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 8-11-2 on the road; Blues - 5-13-3 at home.

Associated Press
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