TORONTO (AP) -- Martin Brodeur thought his latest shutout was long overdue.
"It's about time," New Jersey's goalie said. "Things have been going
wrong for me."
Things went Brodeur's way Saturday night as he made 25 saves for his
league-leading ninth shutout of the season, and Brian Gionta scored in the
first period in the Devils' 1-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The win was the defending Stanley Cup champions' first in regulation since
they beat Pittsburgh 2-0 on Dec. 27 -- a span of seven games.
"It's a big win," said Brodeur, who allowed eight goals in the previous
two games. "It's a relief because of the bad streaking we're going through."
Brodeur recorded his first shutout since Dec. 18 at Atlanta. George
Hainsworth has the record for shutouts in a season -- 22 in the 44-game season
of 1928-29. The post-expansion mark is 15 set by Tony Esposito in 1969-70.
"Marty has quite a few shutouts in the first 40 games, so he has a great
chance of winning MVP," Gionta said. "He is an awesome goalie. When you got
him back there, you can take some liberties because you know he's going to bail
Brodeur made several impressive saves throughout, including a sprawling stop
on Mats Sundin in the second period. He leads active goalies with 73 career
shutouts, 30 short of Terry Sawchuk's NHL record.
"Marty is a game-breaker," Toronto's Tom Fitzgerald said. "We had some
Sundin and goalie Ed Belfour returned to the lineup, but the Maple Leafs
lost their second straight. Sundin was suspended for throwing his broken stick
into the stands. Belfour, who made 32 saves, missed three games with a strained
New Jersey scored the only goal of the game with 57 seconds left in the
first. Jay Pandolfo made a drop pass to Scott Niedermayer, who took a
backhander, and Gionta got the rebound and scored.
Toronto's Mikael Renberg missed a chance from in front of the net when his
shot went over the net in the second.
"I thought it was in. I was ready to pick that puck out of the net,"
Brodeur said. "He had the whole net to shoot at it. He must have just
Brodeur made a nice pad save on Gary Roberts in the final two minutes. The
Maple Leafs pulled Belfour and put an extra attacker on with a minute left, but
they managed just one shot.