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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 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 54 15 24 6 39
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
K. Palmieri 54 20 15 3 35
A. Henrique 52 17 17 14 34
T. Zajac 46 8 18 7 26
D. Schlemko 46 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 54 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 50 1 12 0 13
A. Greene 54 4 6 2 10
J. Josefson 43 3 7 -13 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 23 16 6 .929 2.03
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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