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Devils' Brodeur carries shutout streak into Garden

by Mike G. Morreale

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur will face the New York Rangers for the first time this season on Tuesday when his team visits Madison Square Garden in what is sure to be a spirited affair before a packed house.

What makes the Devils-Rangers rivalry unique in the eyes of Devils coach Peter DeBoer?

"I think when you live in this community you realize you have lifelong fans of both teams that grow up, a lot of times, in the same household and that's very rare," DeBoer said. "You don't get that situation unless you have two major teams within a metropolitan area, so I think that's what makes this rivalry unique."

DeBoer spoke to the media after a morning skate at AmeriHealth Pavilion in Prudential Center on Tuesday before he and his team boarded a bus to Manhattan.

Since telling the media that Cory Schneider should be considered the team's No. 1 goalie on Oct. 23, Brodeur has gone 4-1-0 with a 1.01 goals-against average and .951 save percentage. He's allowed two goals on 75 shots in his past four starts, has recorded two straight shutouts and hasn't been scored upon in 165 minutes, 31 seconds.

It's the eighth time in his career Brodeur has recorded consecutive shutouts and the first time since April 3-6, 2010, at the Carolina Hurricanes (26 saves) and at the Atlanta Thrashers (19 saves).

"I know Marty really gets fired up for these games [against the Rangers], as he does for all games, but there's also great tradition here with the two teams with some of the games they've played and some of the playoff series they've had," DeBoer said.

Schneider made 22 saves in a 4-0 victory against the Rangers in the opener of the five-game regular season series Oct. 19 at Prudential Center. Schneider, who went on to miss three games this season with a lower-body injury, is 0-2-2 in his past four starts.

The last goal Brodeur allowed came against the Philadelphia Flyers in a 1-0 loss Nov. 2, a deflection off the stick of Brayden Schenn 14:29 into the first period. Brodeur is 47-30-20 in 97 career games against the Rangers, with a 2.13 GAA, .918 save percentage and nine shutouts.

The Rangers will counter with goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who is 24-7-5 with five shutouts, a 1.75 GAA and .934 save percentage in 36 career regular-season games against Brodeur.

"These are playoff games every time we play against each other," Devils center Travis Zajac said. "Especially now since we only play them just five times a year. They're special games and we're both battling right to make the playoffs, so I assume it'll be that way the rest of the year."

Jaromir Jagr, who leads the Devils with 13 points, still holds the Rangers' single-season record with 54 goals, set in 2005-06. It's a feat he likes to recall every so often.

"It's a history playing for Rangers," he said. "When you look at it how many great players played for the Rangers and it's an Original Six franchise. It's an honor to play there. I still hold the record for goals in a season so it's even more special for me when you look at all the names who have played there -- [Wayne] Gretzky, [Mark] Messier and [Phil] Esposito."

Defenseman Mark Fayne likely will be a healthy scratch for the fourth game in a row and Patrik Elias will miss his sixth straight game with back spasms.

"Patrik hasn't gotten worse since he's been out, but I would call it lingering," DeBoer said. "That's probably the best word."

Here's how the Devils lineup might look Tuesday:

Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr

Damien Brunner - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder

Mattias Tedenby - Andrei Loktionov - Steve Bernier

Ryan Carter - Jacob Josefson - Cam Janssen

Andy Greene - Peter Harrold

Anton Volchenkov - Marek Zidlicky

Eric Gelinas - Adam Larsson

Martin Brodeur

Cory Schneider

Scratched: Mark Fayne

Injured: Stephen Gionta (sore right ankle), Bryce Salvador (stress fracture in foot), Patrik Elias (back spasms), Ryane Clowe (concussion symptoms), Jon Merrill (facial lacerations)


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