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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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