|NYR||0||1||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|NJD||1||1||0||(0 - 0)||2|
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Martin Brodeur has made winning a habit more so than any other goalie in NHL history.
Brodeur made 26 saves to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday night, becoming the first goalie to win 30 games for 10 straight seasons. He is the only goalie to have more than eight straight 30-win seasons.
"It's one of the things I like most about the records that I'm doing," he said. "One thing I wanted to be in my career is consistent. That's one thing Patrick Roy was able to do throughout his career and I tried to go the same way. It means you've been healthy and successful."
His teammates have come to appreciate, and depend on that consistency.
"We're going to look back and say he was something special," said Scott Gomez, who scored the Devils' first goal. "It's a lot of wins, but he's the best there is. This guy might go down as the best ever."
Brian Gionta also scored for the Devils, who snapped the Rangers' seven-game winning streak
Martin Rucinsky scored the only goal for New York, which had won six straight on the road.
The Devils took a 1-0 lead on a play started and finished by Gomez. He picked up the puck in the Devils end and carried it into the Rangers zone where he passed to Gionta. Kevin Weekes stopped Gionta's shot but Gomez put in the rebound at 17:19 of the first period.
The teams exchanged second-period goals.
Rucinsky tied it at 1:17, taking a perfect pass from Petr Sykora and racing in on a breakaway. Brodeur dived out to tried to break up the play, but Rucinsky got a backhander past the sprawled goaltender.
Gomez and Gionta combined again to give the Devils a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 10:27. Gomez fed a hard pass across the crease to Gionta, who slammed it into the net for his team-leading 34th goal.
In the third, Brodeur was lucky and good in preserving the victory. He made 12 saves in the period and was helped when Darius Kasparaitis hit the post, and when Petr Sykora's deflected shot struck the crossbar.
"The games are getting tougher and tougher," Kasparaitis said. "We have to respond. We've played well all season and now people expect us to win."
Rangers coach Tom Renney felt his team didn't find its best stride until the final period.
"We needed to create more momentum for ourselves earlier than the beginning of the third period against a team that checks very well," he said. "They are really in tune with how they have to play to have success. We chose to not lock and load, in terms of what we have to do, until the third period."
Notes: Weekes made his third straight start. Henrik Lundqvist, the gold-medal winning goalie for Sweden, is expected to be back in the net on Monday for New York's home game against Carolina. ... Zach Parise moved up to the Devils top line because Patrik Elias is sidelined with a rib injury. The rookie skated on the left wing alongside Gomez and Gionta. ... Devils D Richard Matvichuk missed a second straight game with a stomach virus. ... Devils winger Grant Marshall got an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty at 15:50 of the second period after he tried to goad Kasparaitis into a fight. When the Rangers defenseman refused, Marshall responded by flapping his arms chicken-style. ... The game drew 19,040 for the Devils' second sellout.
|Scott Gomez (22) Wrist shot - ASST: Brian Gionta (26), David Hale (3)|
1 - 0 NJD
|Martin Rucinsky (16) Backhand shot - ASST: Petr Sykora (22)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Brian Gionta (34) Tip-in - ASST: Scott Gomez (35), Zach Parise (13)|
2 - 1 NJD
|Jamie Langenbrunner Tripping against Jaromir Jagr|
|Grant Marshall Roughing against Darius Kasparaitis|
|Marcel Hossa Interference against Colin White|
|Martin Rucinsky Hooking against Scott Gomez|
|Tom Poti Holding against Zach Parise|
|Jaromir Jagr Hooking against John Madden|
|Grant Marshall Unsportsmanlike conduct against Darius Kasparaitis|
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