Devils' Brodeur ties Sawchuk's shutout record
Martin Brodeur realized he had a good chance of catching Terry Sawchuk, and his teammates helped made sure he finished with a shutout.
Brodeur tied Sawchuk's NHL record with his 103rd shutout, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 3-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.
"Right after the second I was thinking, 'Well, I've got this chance now,'" Brodeur said. "My goal was (get to) 9 minutes, then take baby steps towards it."
The approach worked, as Brodeur was rarely tested in making 22 saves to tie Sawchuk, who played from 1949-70. It was Brodeur's second shutout of the season after he blanked Carolina on Oct. 17.
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"It's a big number," said Brodeur 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."
The record-tying night wasn't lost on anybody on the Devils - except for maybe rookie forward Niclas Bergfors, who was wondering what the hoopla was all about after the game.
"I told him that Marty set a record, and he said, 'Another record?"' captain Jamie Langenbrunner said. "It's pretty amazing ... it's hard enough to get 100 wins in this league let alone 100 shutouts. Obviously it's pretty special."
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.
"He's one of the best there is and there's a lot of reasons for it," Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told The Associated Press. "He loves the game, and he works at it every day. He respects his teammates, and is a team player. He's been with us from Day 1, and he's never changed. No matter what success he has, he's the same person and he loves to win."
The NHL's winningest goalie, Brodeur earned his league-leading 18th victory 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."