|New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur delivered a relatively easy 26-save performance against Phoenix that left him close to a milestone. (BILL KOSTROUN/Associated Press)|
Brodeur closes in on Roy
Devils goaltender one win from tying mark
During his 15-year career, Martin Brodeur has played for Stanley Cups, Olympic gold medals, and world championships.
An easy 26-save performance last night in the host New Jersey Devils' 5-2 win over the hapless Phoenix Coyotes put Brodeur in position to return home to Montreal and play for something just as important - Patrick Roy's NHL mark for career wins by a goaltender.
Brodeur has 550 wins.
"Now, there's something to really get excited about, with the possibility of tying it on Saturday," Brodeur said after the Devils set a franchise record with their ninth straight home win. "I'm happy we won and I'll be very happy to tie it in Montreal.
"It just adds to the story. You can't ask for a better script. Everything happens for a reason. I just want to be able to put this all behind me. It feels good to be back playing and to get a chance like this."
Brodeur admitted the hardest thing to do this weekend will be to keep his emotions in check.
Brodeur faced no more than five quality chances in winning for the sixth time in seven games since returning from surgery Feb. 26. He missed 50 games after having a torn biceps in his left elbow repaired.
Zach Parise and John Madden scored in the opening 2:56 as the Devils won for the 11th time in 14 games. Dainius Zubrus, Patrik Elias, and Travis Zajac also had goals.
Scottie Upshall and Steven Reinprecht tallied for the Coyotes, who have lost four in a row and seven of eight.
Capitals 2, Flyers 1 - Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 48th goal, added an assist, and helped visiting Washington beat Philadelphia.
Ovechkin was held in check by the Flyers in their first three meetings this season, with only one goal and three assists against the team that eliminated Washington from last year's playoffs.
He had an assist in the first period, then scored the go-ahead goal in the second to lift the Capitals to their fifth straight road win. Washington hadn't won five straight on the road since Feb. 14-March 6, 2001 - when Ovechkin was 16.
The Flyers appeared to have tied the score midway though the third period when Kimmo Timonen's slapper sailed past goalie Jose Theodore, but the goal was waved off by officials when forward Mike Knuble was whistled for interference.
Rangers 4, Predators 2 - Henrik Lundqvist reached 30 wins for the fourth straight season, Sean Avery scored his first goal since returning to the Rangers, and Scott Gomez had 3 points in New York's victory over host Nashville.
Lundqvist made 19 saves in his return from a one-game absence caused by a stomach ailment that has bothered him for about 10 days. He has earned at least 30 wins in each of his NHL seasons.
Avery scored his fourth goal but first since rejoining the Rangers last week after he was waived by the Stars.
Blue Jackets 4, Penguins 3 - Kristian Huselius had a goal in regulation and the only shootout goal and host Columbus beat Pittsburgh after blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.
Steve Mason was victimized for three goals in a span of 3:25 of the final period, but stopped Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin in the shootout.
Antoine Vermette had a goal - his first since being acquired in a trade-deadline deal with Ottawa - and an assist.
The Blue Jackets tied a franchise record for wins in a season with 35.
Flames 6, Red Wings 5 - Olli Jokinen and Mike Cammalleri scored shootout goals to give visiting Calgary a comeback victory over Detroit.
Jokinen also had two goals in regulation for Calgary, which overcame a 4-2 deficit by scoring three goals in a 2:02 span late in the third period. Jamie Lundmark's second goal, and fourth of the season, gave the Flames the lead with 1:20 left. But Dan Cleary tied it for Detroit with 41 seconds left.
Islanders 3, Canadiens 2 - Kyle Okposo's goal 26 seconds into overtime lifted visiting New York past Montreal.
Sabres 3, Panthers 1 - Patrick Lalime made 30 saves, and Jaroslav Spacek had a goal and assist in host Buffalo's victory over Florida.
Lightning 4, Maple Leafs 1 - Matt Pettinger, Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone, and Paul Szczechura scored to lift visiting Tampa Bay past Toronto.
Blues 3, Sharks 1 - Andy McDonald had a goal and an assist, and Chris Mason made 24 saves to lead host St. Louis over slumping San Jose, which has slipped to second in the Western Conference during a 1-4-1 skid.
Stars 3, Hurricanes 2 - Steve Begin (acquired from Montreal Feb. 26) and Brendan Morrison (picked up off waivers from Anaheim March 4) scored their first goals for Dallas, which ended a six-game home losing streak.
Avalanche 2, Wild 1 - Milan Hejduk and Wojtek Wolski scored shootout goals, and Peter Budaj stopped both of Minnesota's attempts in the tiebreaker in host Colorado's victory.
Thrashers 4, Oilers 3 - Marty Reasoner beat Dwayne Roloson on a breakaway at 4:10 of overtime to give visiting Atlanta the victory.