Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils tends the net against the Minnesota Wild on March 20, 2009 at the Prudential Center in Newark.
In his first game since breaking Roy's NHL victory record, Brodeur made 35 saves in New Jersey's 4-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night for his 101st shutout, pulling him within two of Sawchuk's mark.
“That record is proof of commitment by an organization to play well defensively,'' Brodeur said. “You can't do it by yourself.
With the amount of shutouts that I've got, you've got to consider that the team is doing the right things.''
The 36-year-old Brodeur is 9-1 with three shutouts since returning Feb. 26 after missing 50 games following biceps surgery.
“It becomes so standard that it's hard to be amazed,'' teammate Brian Gionta said. “You see it day in and day out, just how good he is and how hard he works. Whether it's practice or warmups, he's battling for rebounds, trying to stop it.''
Patrik Elias scored his 29th and 30th goals, and Gionta and Johnny Oduya also scored to help the Devils -- three points behind first-place Boston in the Eastern Conference -- extend their team-record home winning streak to 11.
The Devils rebounded from a 4-2 loss in Carolina on Wednesday night with backup Kevin Weekes in goal. That came a day after Brodeur beat Chicago 3-2 at home for his record-breaking 552nd victory.
New Jersey has 11 games left in the regular season.
“We don't know when that's going to happen,'' Brodeur said about breaking Sawchuk's record. “Shutouts are part being good, part being lucky.''
The Devils scored three times in the second period
Elias got things rolling with an unassisted goal at 1:24. New Jersey fired the puck into the Minnesota zone and Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky failed to control it on the end boards. The puck popped right to Elias who flicked a shot past Niklas Backstrom.
“You can't make mistakes like that when you are on the road playing against a good team,'' said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire, behind the bench in New Jersey for Brodeur's first Stanley Cup in 1995. “Those are mistakes you have to avoid.''