Elias stings the Rangers in the fourth round of the shootout on Tuesday.
With everything that Martin Brodeur has accomplished in his career, it's remarkable there was something he had yet to do.
But Brodeur prevailed in an epic goaltenders' duel with Henrik Lundqvist on Tuesday, and posted 51 saves in a thrilling 1-0 shootout victory at Madison Square Garden. His 107th career shutout was his sixth of the season, and fourth in the last 10 games.
It was also his first career regular season shutout on Broadway.
"I'll definitely remember this game," said Brodeur, who set a new career high for saves in a shutout. "It was a fun game and both goalies had to be excellent to push it to overtime. Even in overtime, both of us made a couple saves, and even in the shootout, pushed it to more than the limit. For goalies – I know people like the offense – but it was a pretty entertaining game even though it was 0-0."
New York's Erik Christensen, the first shooter, lost control of the puck on the way in. Brodeur then denied Ales Kotalik (five-hole), Marian Gaborik (backhand) and Brandon Dubinsky (glove save). Zach Parise (blocker), Jamie Langenbrunner (catching glove) and Travis Zajac (left pad, catching glove) were all stopped by Lundqvist.
This was a battle between two goaltenders that just wouldn't flinch.
"Especially in a shootout, it's a competition, even though you don't play against each other," Brodeur, the NHL's wins leader with 29, said. "It's about making a save and putting the ball in the court of the other goalie: 'You make the save.' Because they shot first I was able to get that advantage to make that save first, and he had to respond. He responded on our top three players."
Patrik Elias scored shootout's lone goal, which was the only puck to beat either netminder through 60 minutes of regulation, five minutes of overtime and three-and-a-half shootout rounds. Lundqvist, who earned his second shutout of the season, stopped 45 shots.
Elias, the final shooter of the fourth round, snapped the puck over Lundqvist's catching glove to clinch the Devils' second straight win in three meetings with their Hudson River rivals.
New Jersey (32-11-1), which won 2-1 in overtime at Montreal on Saturday, has secured consecutive victories via overtime/shootout, and improved to 11-3 in their last 14. They head west to face Phoenix on Thursday, Colorado on Saturday.
"I just wanted to get it up high, and go for that right side and see if I could keep him guessing a little bit about what I was going to do and just let it go," Elias said.
Elias' second deciding tally of the year lifted the Devils to a 6-1 mark in the shootout. Jersey's Team leads the East by four points over Buffalo, and opened up an eight-point cushion over second-place Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division.
"It was a tough game to play. We stayed in their face, they stayed in our face," Elias said. "It was just a battle, nobody gave up an inch, and we'll take the win.
By the end of the night, Elias was the only player on either side to put a puck in the net.
"It's awesome," he said. "I wish I could do it in a 60-minute game."
Jacques Lemaire enjoyed the game as much as a head coach can during a nailbiter.
"With the score, I was a nervous wreck," he joked. "There were a lot of shots, a lot of chances for both sides. Both goalies were great."
Lemaire saw his team miss a chance to go ahead in the second period, when penalties to Christensen and Dubinsky handed New Jersey a five-on-three power play for 1:38.
"We had an advantage to take the lead and I guess we had only (three shots) on net," said the coach. "Either they did a great job, or we did a poor job. And I think it's mostly us."
Lemaire added: "I think we did a heck of a job to kill it, because we were waiting, waiting. We got it, we started to move with it. Then we make one pass and the other guy looks at who he's going to pass the puck to, and then another five seconds (pass) and then another guy takes over and does the same thing until you run out of time. That's what we did."
Gaborik had the best chance of overtime just 49 seconds into the extra session. He skated around Johnny Oduya one-on-one in the Devils' zone and put a shot on goal that slipped shortside under Brodeur's left arm and off the left post.
"I had no clue where it was," Brodeur said. "I made the save and dropped it. I saw him just chip it and I didn't want him to hit it off of me. It just squirted out on the other side. I saw it on the replay, I didn't really see it when it happened."
The Devils managed to silence Gaborik, who's second in the League in goals (28), and tied for third in points (54). He tied for a team-high five shots on goal, but Brodeur and the Devils were up to the task.
"Our guys did a pretty good job," Lemaire said. "He's hard to check because he's so quick and he's got that quick release. But overall, I'm pretty happy."
Brodeur took some extra pleasure in an impressive win against a division rival.
"Oh for sure," he said. "We give them a point, but we're on the road and you want to take points, also. It's definitely a good, gutsy performance from us, because it was not an easy game to play for anybody. The pressure builds up, and there's a lot of things, mistakes that could be the end of the game. Guys were just plugging along and we got it done even though it's in a shootout, it's a win."
The Devils and Rangers meet three more times: Feb. 6 @ NY, March 10 & 25 @ NJ.
• Parise could tell it'd be a long night before anyone would score – either in game play or in the shootout.
"It kind of looked like it was going that way," he said. "The goaltending was unbelievable tonight. Both sides were tough to score on."
Lundqvist got a blocker on Parise's forehand try in the shootout.
"It was a terrible move," Parise said. "He didn't really go to his glove side like I wanted him to."
As a goal scorer skating in a tight game, Parise said he thinks of only one thing.
"Keep shooting," he said. "Try and get a weird bounce and shoot everything. Neither of them was budging tonight. It was tough. I don't think either team played bad defensively, either. It was just a lot of good shots. It was good goaltending."
• The common feeling among the Devils was that the 96 shots tallied between the teams might have been a generous count.
"I was loving it because they probably gave me a lot more shots that I probably got," Brodeur joked. "It's not our building where they take away shots. Here they give you shots."
• Brodeur's previous career high for saves in a shutout was 40 in a 2-0 win at Boston on Jan. 28, 1999. Rounding out the top five are his 39 saves in a 2-0 win at Ottawa on Dec. 15, 2001; 37 saves in the 0-0 tie against Buffalo on Dec. 23, 1996; 36 saves in a 2-0 win at Detroit on Nov. 6, 1996, and 36 saves in a 3-0 win against Philadelphia on Jan. 04, 2008.