Devils 6, Flyers 2 (FINAL)
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:13 AM
Brodeur making one of his 26 saves from Saturday night.
newjerseydevils.com (Nov. 17) – Martin Brodeur
doesn't have to sweat win No. 500 anymore.
The Devils recovered from Friday's shutout loss by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers, 6-2, on Saturday night.
Brodeur made 26 saves in his 17th start of the season, and in his fourth try, became the second goaltender in league history to record 500 victories.
Of all the legendary netminders to have defended an NHL crease, only Brodeur and Patrick Roy have reached this exclusive plateau. Roy holds the all-time record for wins with 551.
notched a goal and two assists, and a Devils offense that had produced three goals over Brodeur's last three starts erupted for six, tying a season high.
Four Devils in all registered multipoint games, including Dainius Zubrus
, Patrik Elias
and Brian Gionta, who each scored a goal and an assist.
But this night in Philadelphia belonged to Brodeur.
With the Devils leading 6-2 in the third, the goaltender put his stamp on the contest – his second milestone victory to come on Philadelphia ice in as many seasons.
Brodeur (6-10-1) made a seemingly impossible glove stop against Daniel Briere with 9:55 remaining in regulation, diving across the goal mouth like a first baseman to backhand a Briere shot that was labeled for the back of the net.
The play was reviewed, but the replay showed that Brodeur had grabbed the puck just as it reached the goal line, pulling it back to safety. It was a snapshot of the rare athleticism required for posting extraordinary win totals at hockey's highest level.
A season ago, the Wachovia Center was the site of Brodeur's record-setting 48th win. He won three in a row before breaking Bernie Parent's single-season mark in what punctuated a four-game winning streak.
This time around, however, the 500-win mark eluded Brodeur through three straight losses – two to the Islanders, and one to the Rangers. Brodeur even admitted after Friday's 1-0 home loss to the Isles that he "sweating the next game."
This time, he got plenty of help.
Goals from Zubrus and Karel Rachunek staked the Devils to a 2-0 lead by the 12:47 mark of the first period, and Elias' fourth of the season made it 3-0 New Jersey 3:33 into the second.
For Zubrus, who was the Flyers' first-round pick in 1996, the goal was his fourth of the season, three of which have come against Martin Biron. Zubrus now has four points in the last two games against his former team.
, playing in his 100th career game, notched the secondary assist on the goal.
After Philadelphia's Mike Richards scored at 15:54 of the second, Jay Pandolfo buried his team-leading seventh of the season on a wrist shot from the left circle, unassisted, for a 4-1 New Jersey lead heading into the second intermission.
Scottie Upshall cut the Devils' edge in half with a marker just 27 seconds into the third period, but the line of Parise, Gionta and Elias combined for two goals and three assists over the remainder of regulation to seal the win.
In their second of games on back-to-back nights, and their third game in four nights, the Devils (8-10-2) snapped a two-game losing skid to improve to 5-6-2 on the road. The club is now 7-2-1 when scoring first, and 5-0-0 when leading after two periods.
New Jersey finished 0-for-4 on the power play, one of which was a seven-second 5-on-3 in the first period.
But the bright spot of the Devils' special teams was the club's penalty killers. The PK was a perfect 7-for-7, and battled through a four-minute Flyers power play with Rachunek in the box for a high sticking double-minor at 7:09 of the second.
New Jersey's road swing continues Wednesday night in Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m., FSN NY, WFAN 660 AM), and includes stops in Atlanta (Nov. 23) and Tampa Bay (Nov. 24), before the club returns home to Prudential Center to face the Dallas Stars on Nov. 28 at 7:00 p.m.
Brodeur has beaten Philadelphia twice this season and now has a career-high 38 victories against three Atlantic Division rivals: the Flyers, Islanders and Rangers... Biron allowed four goals on 22 shots, and was pulled after two periods in favor of Antero Niittymaki. Niittymaki gave up two goals on two Devils shots in the third period... Paul Martin was out of the lineup for a second straight game with lower body soreness... Mike Rupp was a healthy scratch.
The next promotional night at Prudential Center is set for Friday, Nov. 30, against the Montréal Canadiens, when all fans in attendance will receive a Devils souvenir puck featuring the Prudential Center Inaugural Season commemorative logo, courtesy of Dale and Thomas Popcorn.