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Jagr scores No. 700, Brodeur wins for Devils

by Staff

The elder statesmen on the New Jersey Devils were the story Saturday afternoon against the New York Islanders.

Jaromir Jagr scored his 700th NHL goal and moved into a tie with Marcel Dionne on the all-time assist list, Martin Brodeur made 18 saves in his return to the lineup, and the Devils defeated the Islanders 6-1 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Adam Henrique, Ryane Clowe, Marek Zidlicky and Eric Gelinas each had a power-play goal for the Devils, who scored multiple times with the man-advantage for the second straight game out of the Olympic break.

"It's a surprise for me the way we're scoring goals," Jagr told MSG Network after the game. "I'm happy about it. It's a lot easier to play with the lead than to play from behind."

Brodeur was the storyline coming into the game, with the NHL Trade Deadline set for 3 p.m. ET Wednesday and rumors swirling that his 1,249th career start could be his final one for the Devils.

Cory Schneider had started seven straight games since relieving Brodeur for the third period of their 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against the New York Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26. Brodeur allowed six goals on 21 shots that afternoon, but rebounded with his 51st career win against the Islanders (his most against any NHL team) and the 683rd of his career. He faced 10 shots in the first period and nine after that.

"I felt really good," Brodeur said. "It helped me out to see the way I was playing and how in control I was today. I have a lot left in me and if I need to play somewhere else next year I have to make some decisions."

Brodeur has a no-trade clause and said the destination would play a big part in whether he accepted a trade.

"It definitely depends where it would be if I do accept it, and I'm not there yet," he said. "I know we're running out of time, but I'm taking my time on this."

Jagr's milestone goal started a scoring burst in the second period. After controlling the puck along the right wall, he skated in from the circle and took a shot through traffic that deflected off the skate of Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald and went past goalie Evgeni Nabokov at 3:31, giving the Devils a 2-0 lead.

Jagr, who has 19 goals this season, is eight behind Mike Gartner for sixth on the all-time list.

"What do you say about him?" Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "He came back from the Olympics looking great. We just have to keep him healthy and keep him going the same way he's been going."

Clowe extended the lead to 3-0 with his fifth of the season 1:09 later. The Devils needed 10 seconds to score after Colin McDonald was sent off for roughing, with Clowe snapping a shot past Nabokov for his second goal in as many games.

Kyle Okposo got the Islanders on the board at 6:14 with his team-leading 25th of the season, deflecting a Thomas Vanek shot past Brodeur.

The Devils quickly regained the three-goal advantage, striking again on the power play at 8:07. Jagr reached 1,040 career assists (ninth all-time) when he set up Zidlicky's ninth of the season, 14 seconds after an interference penalty on Mike Halmo.

Defenseman Mark Fayne made it 5-1 when he took a feed from Andrei Loktionov and blasted a point shot past Nabokov with 5:06 left in the second.

Anders Nilsson started the third period in place of Nabokov, who stopped 14 of 19 shots.

Gelinas closed the scoring with 38.1 seconds left, on a two-man advantage. The Devils played the final 4:37 on the power play after Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic was given two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct for an altercation with forward Ryan Carter. Hamonic and the Devils' Steve Bernier had fighting majors earlier in the period.

The Islanders conclude a five-game homestand Sunday afternoon against the Florida Panthers.

"You've got to move on, but we're sticking up for each other at the end which is good to see," defenseman Calvin de Haan said. "I thought we worked hard, but it was just a couple breakdowns on the PK and stuff. There are fixes we can make. We just have to come out tomorrow with some high energy and just play an overall better game."

The Devils got the early jump Saturday thanks to Henrique's second power-play goal in as many games. Islanders forward Casey Cizikas went off for tripping Jacob Josefson at 3:32 and Henrique scored his 17th of the season at 5:00 off a scramble in front, chipping the puck past Nabokov from his knees.

Brodeur made 10 stops in the first, including a pair of strong right-pad saves on Vanek with the Devils killing a holding penalty to Carter.

With the teams playing 4-on-4 after Vanek went off for slashing, Nabokov denied Travis Zajac on a breakaway with 4:40 left, and Brodeur made a point-blank stop on Okposo in the slot at the other end.

"We took care of business, got great goaltending from Marty early," DeBoer said. "In the first period we struggled, they stretched the ice out and had a lot of opportunities … he gave us a chance to get through the first, and in the second and third we found our game."

New Jersey defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Thursday, with two power-play goals. The Devils host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday afternoon.

"We have to make sure we play the same way," Jagr said. "It's not going to be like that every night, but it's nice to have some games where you have a lead 3-0 or 4-1 going into the third period. It's very special because you don't have to change your game, you just play your game."

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