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Aftermath: Devils 4, Penguins 0

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins and Devils’ contest was billed as a battle for NHL, Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division supremacy with both teams sitting atop the standings with 51 points. However, this night belonged to New Jersey and the goaltender Martin Brodeur.  The Devils jumped out to an early lead and pulled away in the second period, putting up three goals in the frame to make it a 4-0 game. New Jersey then did what it does best, trapping the neutral zone, chipping the puck out of their end and smothering the Penguins’ offensive attack.  The entire Devils team played the final period as if it were a playoff game with Brodeur’s NHL all-time record shutout mark on the line. In the end, Brodeur got the record (his 104th career shutout) and the Devils got the win to pull ahead of Pittsburgh in the standings. 
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Martin Brodeur broke the NHL record with his 104th career shutout, and maybe the only surprise was how easily it came against the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Brodeur needed to make only a few difficult saves while breaking Terry Sawchuk's shutout record, further strengthening his case to be considered as the best goaltender to play the game, and the streaking New Jersey Devils had little trouble beating Pittsburgh 4-0 on Monday night.

(photo by Getty)
What Went Well: Staal’s Gutsy Performance Penguins forward Jordan Staal left the game in the second period with a nose laceration after getting hit with the puck. The Devils were trying to clear the puck and it deflected off of Staal’s stick and struck him in the face. He returned in the third wearing a face shield.  What Could Have Gone Better: Solving Martin Brodeur The Penguins have faced Martin Brodeur many times throughout his Hall of Fame career. Pittsburgh knows how difficult it is to beat him when he is on top of his game. Unfortunately for the Penguins, Brodeur was in a groove and stopped everything thrown his way. Despite their best efforts, the Penguins couldn’t figure out how to get the rubber behind Broduer. 
 On a night when a goaltender sets the NHL historical record with his 104th career shutout, it’s hard not to give him credit. Martin Brodeur added to his list of unbelievable accomplishment’s and all-time league records by stopping 35 shots and posting a 0 for the Penguins on the scoreboard. The legendary goaltender now owns every significant goaltender record in existence. 
The Devils struck first with a goal in the first period. Bryce Salvador took a shot from the near point that sailed through a screen and found its way into the top far corner of the net. New Jersey 1, Pittsburgh 0 New Jersey extended its lead 33 seconds into the second period with a power-play tally. Niclas Bergfors had the puck in the lower circle and sneaked a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury on the far side. New Jersey 2, Pittsburgh 0. The Devils took a 3-0 lead 8:27 into the second period on a goal from Patrick Elias. There was a scrum in front of the Pittsburgh net. Zach Parise’s shot hit the post and the rebound slid right to Elias in the slot. Elias lifted a shot into the goal for the score. New Jersey 3, Pittsburgh 0 New Jersey added another goal halfway through the second period. Mark Fraser shot the puck from the point and it eluded Fleury. New Jersey 4, Pittsburgh 0.
For those listening to the game on the Penguins flagship station at 105.9 the X, there was a little bit of a surprise during the second period. Instead of hearing the normal duo of play-by-play announcer Mike Lange and color analyst Phil Bourque, the audience was treated to the call of Steve Mears and Bob Grove. Mears used to handle radio play-by-play duties with the NY Islanders before helping launch the Penguins new HD channel. Grove does the pre- and post-game radio on the station. The pair normally handles intermissions but near the start of the second period, Lange came into the booth and said, “Merry Christmas, you guys are calling the second period.”
> Pittsburgh dropped to 25-11-1 on the season with a 12-6-1 mark at Mellon Arena. The Penguins lost for only the third time in regulation in their last 15 games (11-3-1).  > Scoring Summary: NJ, B.Salvador (2), 4:39 1st period: Devils 1, Penguins 0 NJ, N.Bergfors PP (12), 0:23 2nd period: Devils 2, Penguins 0 NJ, P.Elias (8), 8:27 2nd period: Devils 3, Penguins 0 NJ, M.Fraser (2), 11:03 2nd period: Devils 4, Penguins 0 > The Penguins are now 43-14-5 in the regular season since head coach Dan Bylsma took over. They have a record of 22-7-2 at Mellon Arena. 
1. M.Brodeur
2. Z.Parise
3. P.Elias
This record was held so long by Terry Sawchuk, when you break records and see how long they last, I think it’s pretty cool.”
Martin Brodeur


Author: Sam Kasan

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