SAN JOSE, Calif. – Brent Burns kept waiting to see a replay of his shot that struck Martin Brodeur in the back of the neck and left the New Jersey Devils goalie flat on his back on the ice.
“It’s pretty scary seeing a goalie go down like that,” Burns said after the San Jose Sharks edged the Devils 2-1 on Saturday night. “I didn’t think I hit him, but I got worried when there was no replay that I might have hit him. He’s a legend of the game.”
Brodeur, who stopped 28 shots, was struck after he turned his back to the play as Burns tried to sneak the puck past him.
Brodeur threw up his left leg to block an attempt from Burns, and then collapsed on the ice for a few minutes with his arms and legs extended.
“Usually you don’t turn your back to the guy shooting the puck,” Brodeur said. “It was like an electric shock through my body. It went really quick through my legs, my feet and my fingers.
“I wasn’t sure. I had never felt that before, and that’s why I didn’t move. When I got up I felt a little dizzy but I guess that’s normal.”
Brodeur was attended to by a trainer and was able to get up and remain in the game, before being pulled moments later for an extra skater as New Jersey pressed for the tying goal.
“I was kind of upset there because I wanted to get one off of him,” said Burns, who earned an assist in his second game after missing 13 because of an injury.
Brodeur said he felt fine and was just sore where the puck hit him. He expected to be examined by a doctor.
Scott Hannan and Tyler Kennedy scored first-period goals, and Antti Niemi made 18 saves for the Sharks, who have won five of six.
“We talked after the first period that they tend to get stronger later in the game,” Sharks centre Joe Thornton said. “They played well and made it close in the third. At this point we’re happy to get the two points.”
Patrik Elias scored for the Devils, who had a season-high, three-game winning streak snapped.
“We had some trouble in our zone covering them,” Elias said. “They were very active and able to create a lot of chances. But we got better as the game went on and we had our chances in the second and third periods.”
The Devils played their third game in four nights. They beat the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings in overtime before travelling to Northern California to face the Sharks.
“We played them pretty well but they got the two goals,” Devils centre Travis Zajac said. “We matched them after that and there were just a couple of plays we didn’t execute, and couldn’t get another one.”
Hannan scored early in the first period from just inside the blue line. Hannan received a pass from Thornton, who has 43 points in 35 games against the Devils, his second most against any Eastern Conference opponent.
Thornton has 11 points in 10 games.
Kennedy scored late in the first period to make it 2-0 after Marty Havlat passed the puck out to him from behind the net.
“I don’t know how he saw me, but Marty found me with a great pass,” Kennedy said. “I couldn’t ask for better linemates. All the credit goes to them.”
Elias scored during a power play midway through the third period. Andy Greene slid the puck out to the right side, and Elias shot it past Niemi’s right shoulder. Steve Bernier helped by screening Niemi.
The Devils, who came in averaging 25 shots a game, were held to 19—including only 10 through two periods.
NOTES: Thornton moved into a tie with Nicklas Lidstrom for 50th place on the NHL career points list with 1,142. … Elias has eight points in his last seven games against the Sharks. … Devils RW Michael Ryder played in his 700th NHL game. … Havlat recorded his first point in seven games.