Brodeur stopped 26 shots in his NHL-best 11th shutout of the season and third against the Islanders in leading the New Jersey Devils to a 2-0 victory Saturday night.
He has allowed just one goal in three games this season at Nassau Coliseum, Miroslav Satan’s tally with 0.7 seconds left in New Jersey’s overtime win on Jan. 13.
“I thought about it when there was like 40-something seconds left,” Brodeur said.
Brodeur and the Devils have taken five straight from the Islanders after New York went 6-1-1 against them last season and took the series opener this season.
No one offered a reason for the turnaround, but the Devils seem to be sticking it to everyone in the NHL these days.
“We answered the question the other way last year when we couldn’t win anything,” Brodeur said. “We have to keep plugging along. We’re in a great position in the standings.”
The Devils bounced back from a tough 5-4 home loss to Pittsburgh on Friday night and stretched their Atlantic Division-lead over the Penguins to seven points. New Jersey is five behind Buffalo for first in the Eastern Conference.
Brodeur, who blanked the Islanders 2-0 on Dec. 30 and Feb. 8, was sharp one night after allowing five goals on 24 shots. He shows no sign of slowing, despite making 29 straight starts.
“From the drop of the puck until the end, I thought we played a solid game,” coach Claude Julien said. “Even the shots that they were getting, I think our guys were doing a pretty good job and letting Marty see most of them.”
Brodeur has earned all 36 New Jersey victories this season and kept the Devils from having their first regulation losing streak since a three-game skid in December. Brodeur is third in NHL history with 91 shutouts, three behind George Hainesworth and 12 in back of Terry Sawchuk.
John Madden and Sergei Brylin supplied the goals to help the Devils win for the sixth time in eight games.
Rick DiPietro made 28 saves for the Islanders, who failed to earn a point for the second time in 13 games (7-2-4).
“The things we’ve been doing the last 12 games, we weren’t doing tonight,” DiPietro said.
Madden, wearing a full cage to protect his face, scored his first goal in five games when he connected with 5:39 left in the first period. In his second game back since being struck with a puck, Madden started a pretty tic-tac-toe play that resulted in his ninth this season.
Erik Rasmussen finished it by finding Madden streaking down toward the left post for an easy redirect into the open side.
“If Marty can throw up 11 shutouts with a cage in front of his face, then I’m sure I can play with one in front of mine,” Madden said.
The lead grew to 2-0 while the Devils enjoyed a second-period power play that was created when DiPietro fired the puck over the glass.
Patrik Elias slid a pass to Brylin at the right post. DiPietro flashed his pad to stop the shot, but Brylin calmly lifted in the rebound at 12:26.
It didn’t take long for the Islanders to show frustration against the Devils, the last team to beat them in regulation four games earlier.
Arron Asham fought Cam Janssen just 3:12 in as the two engaged in a long, spirited brawl that lasted until the combatants tired themselves out.
Asham got entangled with Mark Fraser in the second period and looked ready to go again, but teammate Chris Simon charged in to fight. That came 3½ minutes after Drew Fata, playing his second game this season in place of injured defenseman Bruno Gervais, fought Mike Rupp.
The Islanders were 0-for-4 on the power play and couldn’t dent Brodeur.
“It’s not that complicated a game,” coach Ted Nolan said. “You get the puck back to the point, shoot it, and go for rebounds. It’s been frustrating to watch for a long time.”
The two-time Vezina Trophy winner rolled on his back to turn away Randy Robitaille with his glove in the second period. Asham flubbed the puck as he tried to shoot in the rebound. Brodeur then robbed Mike Sillinger with 90 seconds left in the period, again with a sprawling stop.
Asham was again denied when Brodeur stuck out his glove to knock the puck away.
Notes: Devils RW Brian Gionta missed his second game with a groin injury. … New Jersey D Brad Lukowich, formerly of the Islanders, played in his 500th NHL game. … Gervais, who missed seven games in January and February with an ankle problem, aggravated the injury Thursday against Boston.