Hurricanes-Devils Preview

Martin Brodeur is on the brink of setting an NHL record. At the

very least, he should be able to extend another one Wednesday night

when the New Jersey Devils host the NHL-worst Carolina

Hurricanes.

Brodeur tied Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk, who played from

1949-70, for the league record of 103 shutouts when he made 22

saves in a 3-0 win at Buffalo on Tuesday.

“It’s been a lot of years, and that’s what kind of catches my

eye more than anything,” said Brodeur, who made his NHL debut in

1992. “So it’s kind of surreal because (Sawchuk’s) not there to see

it.

“It’s a big number. When I look back, and all the numbers of

other goalies, it’s mind-boggling a little bit. It’s a little bit

like what the win record was. But, especially with hockey changing

so much, it’s going to get harder and harder to get some.”

Brodeur will likely get a chance to take solo ownership of the

shutout record Wednesday, but he’d have to register consecutive

shutouts for a seventh time in his career and first since Oct.

26-28, 2006.

Even if Brodeur is unable to set the record against lowly

Carolina (7-17-5), he has an ideal chance to extend his wins mark,

which has reached 575 behind his league-leading 18 victories this

season.

“It’s pretty amazing … it’s hard enough to get 100 wins in

this league let alone 100 shutouts,” captain Jamie Langenbrunner

said. “Obviously it’s pretty special.”

Brodeur, who ranks among the league leaders with a 2.11

goals-against average, is also four appearances shy of tying

Patrick Roy for the NHL record for games played by a goalie

(1,029).

He climbed to within one of Sawchuk’s record Oct. 17, when he

made 26 stops in a 2-0 win over Carolina. It was his seventh

shutout against the Hurricanes franchise.

The Devils, winners of three in a row and six of seven, have won

four of the last five against the Hurricanes at Prudential Center.

New Jersey was eliminated in seven games by Carolina in the opening

round of last season’s playoffs.

The Hurricanes went on to reach the Eastern Conference finals

but haven’t carried any momentum into this season, owning the

fewest points in the league.

They’re looking for a season-high three-game winning streak

after scoring the first three goals of a 3-2 victory at Pittsburgh

on Tuesday to snap a franchise-record 13-game road skid.

“It’s sad that it’s taken so long.” said left wing Ray Whitney,

who saw his goal at 2:26 of the second period hold up as the

winner. “It’s something to build on. Certainly we’re not sipping

champagne by any means, but it’s a starting point.”

Whitney has been key over the last two games, getting two goals

and three assists after registering two assists over the previous

eight. He leads the Hurricanes with eight goals and 20 points.

Carolina could have No. 1 goalie Cam Ward back Wednesday. He

missed the last 13 games after being cut on the leg by a skate at

Columbus on Nov. 7.