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newjerseydevils.com – When Martin Brodeur is hot, the Devils are difficult to beat. He's at the top of his game recently, and his team hasn't lost in nearly three weeks.
Brodeur and the Devils seek their eighth consecutive victory Wednesday night when they host the Boston Bruins.
New Jersey's seven-game run is its longest since an 11-game streak to close the 2005-06 regular season. Brodeur has been the starting goaltender for all 18 of those games.
He has been outstanding during this run, which has included two shutouts. Brodeur has a 1.27 goals-against average since the streak started on Nov. 17, and he hasn't given up more than two goals in any of those games.
He made 23 saves in regulation and overtime Sunday against Atlanta, then denied all three Thrashers he faced in the shootout of New Jersey's 3-2 victory.
"He's a good goalie, one of the best ever," said the Thrashers' Ilya Kovalchuk, who failed to score on Brodeur in the final round. "You need to be real good and real sharp to beat that guy. He moves quick from post to post."
Brian Gionta scored the only goal of the shootout for the Devils (14-10-2), while Sergei Brylin and John Madden each had a goal and an assist in regulation.
Gionta scored the game-winning goal the last time these teams faced each other, a 3-1 Devils home victory on April 1. New Jersey left wing Jay Pandolfo - a native of the Boston area - scored the Devils' other two goals in that contest.
Pandolfo has eight goals this season, but has missed the last two games with a groin injury, ending his streak of 307 consecutive games played. His status for Wednesday is uncertain.
Brodeur needed to make only 17 saves on April 1, but the Bruins (14-9-2) are well aware of what he can do. Brodeur is 19-14-8 with a 2.48 GAA and four shutouts lifetime versus Boston.
These clubs split four meetings last season, with each winning once on the other's home ice.
After scoring two goals or fewer in 11 of their first 16 games this season, the Bruins appear to be overcoming their offensive woes. They have totaled at least three goals six times in the last nine contests, including Monday night's 3-1 win over the New York Islanders.
Glen Murray, Petteri Nokelainen and Chuck Kobasew scored for Boston, which improved to 3-2-0 entering the finale of its season-high six-game road trip.
The Bruins went 2-for-6 on the power play. They have five goals with the man advantage over the last three games, equaling their power-play goal total from the previous 12 contests.
"We played well, except for a couple of breakdowns near the end," said Boston coach Claude Julien, who was fired by the Devils on April 2. "We got some timely goals, and our power play came up big, obviously."
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, who stopped 33 shots against the Islanders, has alternated wins and losses over his last seven starts. He has struggled against the Devils, going 1-2-1 with a 3.16 GAA in five career games - four starts.
with wire services
TOYS FOR TOTS tonight at Prudential Center
All fans attending tonight's game are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys for the Devils' annual Toys for Tots collection. Representatives from the United States Marine Corps, Company G 2/25, based in Dover, N.J., will be on hand at the PNC Bank and Verizon Towers, as well as the Lafayette Street and VIP entrances to collect the toys. Anyone making a donation will be eligible to win autographed Devils’ memorabilia.
Following the collection, the toys will be distributed to hospitals and orphanages, and to less-fortunate children throughout the community.