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Brodeur joins Roy as only members of 500-win club as Devils beat Flyers 6-2

PHILADELPHIA - Martin Brodeur gave Patrick Roy some company in the 500 victory club.

Now Brodeur's chase to become the winningest goalie in NHL history is truly on.

Brodeur reached one of hockey's rarest milestones, stopping all but two shots in a modest effort thanks to some of New Jersey's usual stout defence and earned his 500th win.

Brodeur made 26 saves in the Devils' 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night and joined Roy as the only goalies in NHL history with that many victories.

"I don't see myself as that big of a deal," he said.

Brodeur, who failed in his first three attempts at the coveted mark, improved to 500-273-105-15.

The scoreboard flashed a post-game message of congratulations as the few remaining Flyers fans booed him. He probably didn't care, as his Devils teammates skated over and patted him on the head or poked his gut in some good-natured celebrating.

Fittingly, the win came against the Flyers.

Brodeur set the single-season record for victories in Philadelphia last season and he improved to 12-1-1 in his last 14 starts against the Flyers, including 2-1 this season.

"With the last two things I had to break, I guess Philly's home," Brodeur said, chuckling.

About the only way the milestone would have been any sweeter was reaching it in New Jersey.

"It would have been nice to win it there, especially against a New York team," he said. "But this is the way it is and I'm happy it's over with."

Brodeur has his 14 seasons with the Devils and led the franchise to three Stanley Cup titles. While he has an abnormally high number of losses this season (10), the 35-year-old Brodeur is still on pace to pass Roy on the career win list (551) at some point next season.

"I'm definitely healthy, so we'll see what the future will bring," he said. "I don't want to put a date on it or how many years."

Brodeur was backed by two goals scored 2:43 apart in the first period and two more in a 32-second span in the third that turned this one into a rout.

Flyers backup goalie Antero Niittymaki allowed two goals on New Jersey's only two shots of the third period.

Roy and Brodeur have positioned themselves on the win list like Cy Young and Walter Johnson did in baseball. No pitcher is close to reaching 400 wins in baseball and Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek is a whopping 133 wins away from No. 500.

"You have to stay in good shape for a long time during your career," Hasek said after he and the Detroit Red Wings lost 5-3 to Chicago. "You have to play every day for 15 years and you have to be a great goalie like Marty is."

Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe are the only members of the 800-goal club, and Scotty Bowman is the only coach to reach 1,000 wins.

Now Roy has to share his spot.

"You play to be successful and I've been fortunate to play on good teams," Brodeur said.

Brodeur wasn't tested much against the Flyers. Mike Richards tried to punch in the puck on second and third chances against him late in the second period, but Brodeur held off the pokes.

Richards, though, slapped the puck over a fallen Brodeur only seconds later for his 11th goal.

That made it 3-1, and the goal mattered little in the end.

Brodeur made a sprawling, smothering glove save that denied the Flyers a goal in the third.

"I know it is pretty special for him, but I wish it was another night," Flyers centre Danny Briere said.

Dainius Zubrus knocked in a rebound, and Karel Rachunek stunned Martin Biron with a slap shot just inside the blue line in the first to give New Jersey a 2-0 lead.

Patrik Elias found the puck in a scrum in front of the crease and knocked in his fourth goal early in the second for a 3-0 lead.

Jay Pandolfo's seventh goal late in the third made it 4-1, and Brodeur cruised from there.

Biron, who made 18 saves in the first two periods before he was pulled for Niittymaki, counts himself as a Brodeur fan.

"It's just great for him to be able to achieve that milestone, and I hope one day I can be able to get up in wins and be able to be at the level that he's been for so many years," he said. "I think that I can get to that level. Definitely it's an achievement to shoot at."

The Devils hit Niittymaki quickly with goals by Brian Gionta and Zach Parise 32 seconds apart to push the lead to 6-1.

Scottie Upshall scored the only other Philadelphia goal.

After winning their first six games at home, the Flyers have lost two straight to division rivals New York and New Jersey.

Brodeur, taking advantage of the rule change that eliminated ties, has won 30-plus games in 11 straight seasons and 40 in each of the last two. He set an NHL record with 48 wins last season.

"He's obviously broken a lot of records and he's got a lot left in the tank, so we have a lot to look forward to," Devils coach Brent Sutter said.

Notes: Flyers RW Sami Kapanen returned to the lineup after missing four games with a knee injury. ... New Jersey D Paul Martin sat out a second straight game with lower body soreness.


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