Devils 5, Stars 0 (F)
Brodeur celebrates Wednesday's victory with Letourneau-Leblond (c.).
It's looking more and more like the Devils' offense is alive and well.
John Madden struck twice in a span of 1:12 for the Devils, who chased Dallas starter Marty Turco in the second period en route to a 5-0 win Wednesday at Prudential Center.
made 21 saves, including a stop on Sean Avery's one-timer from the slot, to capture his 543rd career win and his second shutout in three games. The four-time Vezina Trophy winner needs eight victories to tie Patrick Roy's league record of 551 and sits just five shy of Terry Sawchuk's all-time shutout mark of 103.
|Salvador tangles with Crombeen in Wednesday's action.
notched his team-leading fourth goal of the year, while Jamie Langenbrunner
and David Clarkson
each recorded their first for the Devils (5-1-0) who won their third in a row.
With Brian Rolston
(ankle) and Bobby Holik (finger) sidelined, the Devils posted a season-high five goals. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond
, who was called up from Lowell to fill in for Holik, made his NHL debut on a line with Clarkson and Mike Rupp, and collected his first career assist.
For New Jersey, the offensive attack that produced just six goals in its first four games has now erupted for eight in its last two contests – both wins. The Devils moved within three points of the idle Rangers for first place in the Atlantic Division.
With five goals and a shutout, what did head coach Brent Sutter like best about his team's performance?
"Patience. We stayed with our game for 60 minutes," Sutter said. "We made the most of our scoring opportunities. Marty made a couple of big saves at key times. It was a real solid win here tonight."
The Devils improved to 6-2 against the Stars since the teams faced one another in the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals. They meet again in Dallas on New Year's Eve.
Next up, the Devils face a home-and-home series with the Philadelphia Flyers starting Friday in Newark and concluding Saturday at Wachovia Center. Until then, New Jersey can savor what might have been the club's most complete effort of the 2008-09 campaign.
"We knew we had to play a certain way to hopefully have success," said Sutter. "We got some quality scoring opportunities. I'm sure their goaltender would like to have one or two of them back. That being said, we put pucks to the net and went to the net, too. I just thought we were resilient tonight in how we wanted to play. Everyone contributed in their own way tonight, the right way."
The Devils' fifth win of the season started with Langenbrunner's first goal of the campaign. The team captain was hampered at the start of last season by a groin injury that kept him out of the lineup for 17 games. With three points in two games (1g-2a), it appears the right wing is ready to rev things up in October.
Two minutes into the first, Langenbrunner dug the puck out from behind the Dallas cage and drove to the front of the net for a backhander through Turco's pads. Parise got the primary helper, while Travis Zajac
got his first of two assists on the night.
Though they led just 1-0 after one, the first period belonged to the Devils, as New Jersey held Dallas without a shot for the first 10 minutes of the game. In the second period, they soon doubled their lead.
Paul Martin's pass found Madden in stride at the Dallas blueline, allowing him to split Stars' defensemen Matt Niskanen and Trevor Daley. Madden made it 2-0 on his second of the season with a snapshot from the left circle that beat Turco's glove at 9:05.
Just 1:12 later, Madden cashed in on a Turco miscue for his second of the game and third of the season.
started the play with a long shot on goal. Turco then gave up a big rebound that Madden collected and swept around Turco's short side from the bottom of the left circle at 10:17. It would be Turco's last play of the night, as Dallas sent in back-up Tobias Stephan for relief. Turco left the game having allowed three goals on 17 shots.
At the other end, Brodeur preserved the shutout with a gem against Brandon Crombeen's rush down the left side with 34 seconds left in the period.
Brodeur opened the third period showing why he has captured the NHL's top goaltending honors in back-to-back seasons. On a Stars power play 10 seconds into the frame, Brodeur foiled Avery's one-timer of a Mike Ribeiro pass from behind the net at 1:06. Later, he denied Ribeiro's backhand try on a breakaway from the Devils' blueline to keep the score 3-0 at 5:03.
Parise gave the Devils their first four-goal game of the year when he chipped an Andy Greene
rebound past Stephan at 9:49. Clarkson closed out the scoring at 5-0 by beating Daley to a loose puck along the left boards in Stars' territory and evading Toby Peterson for a slapper from the high slot at 10:42.
Clarkson's goal gave Letourneau-Leblond his first NHL assist in his Devils debut.
"He played well for us," Sutter said of the Devils' latest call-up. "He came in and did what we wanted him to do."
Greene also added a second assist on Clarkson's tally for his first career two-assist game.
Madden had three two-goal games in 2007-08, his second campaign with at least 20 tallies... Rolston (two games missed, ankle sprain) and Holik (one game, broken finger) were out of the lineup... Sheldon Brookbank was scratched... Salvador handled Crombeen in a third period scrap in the Devils' zone.
|Three star selections