Brodeur ties Sawchuk with 103rd career shutout
Although Jacques Lemaire gave Martin Brodeur his shot in 1993, he's not taking any credit for the goalie's success.
``Me? I'm doing nothing,'' the New Jersey coach said after Brodeur tied Terry Sawchuk's NHL record with his 103rd shutout, leading the Devils to a 3-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night. ``He's the one stopping the puck.''
Twenty-two pucks to be exact against the Sabres, enough to tie the shutout mark that Sawchuk set while playing from 1949-70.
``It's been a lot of years, and that's what kind of catches my eye more than anything,'' Brodeur said. ``So it's kind of surreal because (Sawchuk's) not there to see it.''
Brodeur was rarely tested in earning his second shutout of the season after he blanked Carolina on Oct. 17.
``It's a big number,'' he said after taking pictures with the historic puck in front of a piece of paper with the number ``103'' taped behind his locker stall. ``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 is the only active goalie on the Top 22 all-time shutout list. Detroit's Chris Osgood is the next active goalie behind Brodeur with 50 shutouts, good for 23rd.
``You'd have to have a crystal ball to guess what he's been able to accomplish,'' said New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello, who drafted Brodeur with the 20th overall pick in 1990. ``I don't think you ever think like that.''
The NHL's winningest goalie with 575 victories, Brodeur earned his league-leading 18th of the season. He preserved the shutout with a lightning-quick glove stop on Buffalo defenseman Steve Montador's wrist shot from the slot 5 minutes into the third period.
``I kind of waved at it, and it hit the top of my glove,'' Brodeur said. ``I got kind of lucky that it stayed in front of me.''
Brian Rolston, Travis Zajac and Niclas Bergfors scored for New Jersey (20-7-1), owners of the best road record (11-2-1) and a three-game winning streak.
Brodeur tied the record while matching up against one of the NHL's best goalies, Ryan Miller.
Miller, who came in as the NHL leader in goals-against average (1.85) and save percentage (.936) finished with 34 saves, and got little help from a Sabres team that was consistently bottled up by New Jersey's tenacious forecheck.
``They built a team around him for a long, long time and it's what every goaltender wants...a system to be based around your style,'' Miller said. ``New Jersey plays it to a ``T'' and he plays that position in goal. He's a master of his craft and you expect that out of him.''
NOTES: Brodeur needs four appearances to tie Patrick Roy for the NHL record for most games played by a goalie (1,029). ... Brodeur's only other shutout against Buffalo was a 0-0 overtime tie in New Jersey in Dec. 1996. ... This was the only road game for New Jersey during a 10-game stretch that began on Nov. 28. ... Sabres RW Mike Grier missed the game because of personal reasons, while D Chris Butler missed his second straight game because of an ankle injury. ... The road team has won the last six meetings between these two teams. ... Thirteen of the Devils' last 18 opponents have been held to two or fewer goals.