NEW YORK – Martin Brodeur was flawless for the New Jersey Devils on a night when Henrik Lundqvist, his counterpart for the New York Rangers, threatened to match him save for save.
Patrik Elias scored the only goal in the shootout and Brodeur earned his fourth shutout in the last 10 games as the Devils beat the Rangers 1-0 on Tuesday.
“It was a fun game,” Brodeur said. “Both goalies had to be excellent to push it to overtime. Even in overtime, both of us made a couple of saves. The shootout pushed it even more to the limit.
“I know people like offence, but it was a pretty entertaining game. It was thrilling. I had to shut them down to win. It was just one of those games.”
Elias connected in the fourth round, snapping a shot past Henrik Lundqvist’s glove.
With the shutout, Brodeur extended his NHL record to 107, making 51 saves through overtime and four more in the shootout.
Lundqvist stopped a career-high 45 shots through overtime to earn his second shutout this season.
“It was a 0-0 game but there was a lot of action out there,” Lundqvist said. “It is tough to lose it.”
As was the case all game, Brodeur was razor-sharp in the shootout, stopping Erik Christensen, Ales Kotalik. Marian Gaborik and Brandon Dubinsky.
Elias ended the suspense, giving the Eastern Conference leading Devils their 15th win in the last 19 games.
“I just wanted to get it up high, go from the right side and see if I can keep him guessing a little bit on what I’m going to do,” Elias said. “Then I just kind of let it go.”
A little bit of deception made all the difference.
“He kind of faked a shot and I went down,” Lundqvist said. “I froze a little bit and he roofed it. It was a weird shot but he is good shooter.”
It ended a frantic stretch for the Devils as they took the ice for the fourth time in five nights. Friday’s game in Newark was suspended midway through the second period due to a lighting malfunction at the Prudential Center. They headed to Montreal for a 2-1 overtime victory on Saturday. Then it was back to New Jersey on Sunday evening for completion of the suspended game, a 4-2 win by Tampa Bay.
The scoreless opening period was played at a high tempo with few whistles and the Rangers holding a 13-10 edge in shots.
Things got wilder in the second, but neither team could find the net.
The Rangers were solidly in control the first 10 minutes of the period. Their best chance came when Brian Boyle broke in alone on Brodeur. Boyle went looking for a five-hole opening that wasn’t there as Brodeur squeezed the pads to make the save.
The last half of the period was a battle of power plays. The Devils had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:39 with Lundqvist making a pad stop on Brian Rolston’s point shot.
“We had the advantage to take the lead but I think we only had one shot on net,” said Devils coach Jacques Lemaire. “They did a great job.”
The Rangers had 18 shots in the period to 12 for the Devils.
The drama continued into the third with Brodeur denying Gaborik’s tip attempt with eight minutes remaining. The Rangers held a 45-41 edge in shots at the end of regulation.
Gaborik came close to ending in the overtime, banking a shot off Brodeur that rolled through the crease.
“I had no clue where it was,” Brodeur said. “I made the save and I dropped and I saw him just chip it. I didn’t want him to hit it off of me, so it just squirted out on the other side. I saw it on the replay. I didn’t see it when it happened”
That set the stage for the shootout.
“The shootout is fun, but it is a lottery sometimes,” Lundqvist said.
Notes: Vinny Prospal returned after missing seven games for arthroscopic knee surgery. Prospal jumped right back onto the top line with Marian Gaborik and Erik Christensen … The Rangers’ scratches were LW Aaron Voros and RW Enver Lisin. … The Devils’ scratches were RW Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, LW Andrew Peters and D Matthew Corrente. … New York’s 51 shots were the most allowed by the Devils this season. … The Rangers have points in 12 of their last 13 games (9-1-3).