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Defense answering the call for New Jersey

Friday, 10.17.2008 / 11:12 AM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Defense answering the call for New Jersey
Brodeur leads a Devils defense that has held opponents under a goal per game in three wins.
newjerseydevils.com – The offense might still be trying to find its rhythm, but the Devils' defensive play already appears to be in mid-season form.

New Jersey (3-1-0) grabbed its third win of the season Thursday night, blanking the Thrashers 1-0 in Atlanta.

Brian Rolston scored on the power play and Martin Brodeur made 25 saves for his first shutout of the season and 97th of his career. He moved within 10 of Patrick Roy's all-time wins mark of 551, and sits six shy of Terry Sawchuk's record of 103 shutouts.

So far, Brodeur has backstopped the Devils to three one-goal triumphs, and has held opponents to a goal or less in three of his four starts. New Jersey has smothered some of the NHL's top scoring talent in those games, keeping Sidney Crosby and Ilya Kovalchuk off the scoresheet while limiting Evgeni Malkin to one assist in Saturday's 2-1 overtime win at Pittsburgh.

Brodeur's only loss thus far, a 4-1 defeat to the Rangers, included a fluky goal off of his catching glove and two redirections in front of the net.

The Devils' next home game is against Dallas on Wednesday, Oct. 22, when the team hosts Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night at 7 p.m.

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But this is familiar territory for the Devils' goaltender, who is no stranger to narrow victories. Eleven of Brodeur's 44 wins last season came in one-goal regulation decisions, with another 14 coming via overtime or shootout. Through four games this season, Brodeur has allowed only five goals to the tune of a league-best 1.23 goal-against average.

Brodeur's efforts have been supported by the Devils' defensemen, all of whom are even or better in the plus-minus department. Colin White leads the club with a plus-4.

New Jersey's next test comes Saturday in Washington, where the team will face Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals. Washington (3-1-0) is led by Alexander Semin's eight points (4g-4a) and entered Friday tied with the Rangers for the second most goals scored in the league (17).

The Devils return home to face the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, Oct. 22, when the team hosts Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night at Prudential Center. On Friday, New Jersey opens a home-and-home series with Philadelphia in Newark, then plays Saturday at Wachovia Center.

A meeting with Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 29, begins a four-game homestand for the Devils, who also host Atlanta (Sat., Nov. 1), Buffalo (Mon., Nov. 3), and Tampa Bay (Wed., Nov. 5).

NJD NOTES
Defenseman Anssi Salmela has been assigned to Lowell (AHL).



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 68 16 24 -3 40
M. Cammalleri 61 25 13 4 38
P. Elias 62 11 20 -17 31
S. Gomez 51 7 24 -7 31
S. Bernier 60 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 67 11 12 -3 23
A. Larsson 57 3 19 2 22
A. Greene 75 3 17 2 20
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 55 6 11 -2 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 27 8 .928 2.19
K. Kinkaid 5 5 3 .918 2.47