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Brodeur shuts down Stars and Avery as Devils cruise to 5-0 win

NEWARK, N.J. - Martin Brodeur got in the last word against Sean Avery and the Dallas Stars: shutout.

Brodeur made 21 saves for his 98th NHL shutout, and mostly avoided Avery, his No. 1 nemesis, to help the New Jersey Devils beat the Stars 5-0 on Wednesday night. "It's two points," Brodeur said. "We just played our game and we didn't worry about him too much."

John Madden scored two goals for the Devils, who chased the checking forward's former Michigan teammate Marty Turco in the second period.

"He's a quality goalie," Madden said. "I hate to see him struggle like that."

Zach Parise and David Clarkson had goals 53 seconds apart in the third period, and Jamie Langenbrunner gave New Jersey (5-1) a 1-0 lead in the Devils' best offensive output this season.

"When you get on the board early, it makes it a lot easier to play," Brodeur said after the Devils' first home game since opening night.

After a commitment to defence against the New York Rangers in a 2-1 victory Monday, the Stars fell back into bad habits. Turco left after allowing three goals on 17 shots and Tobias Stephan gave up a pair of quick ones in the third.

Dallas (2-4-1) has yielded 29 goals - more than four per game.

"If you give up five goals on 20 shots, you're not going to win," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "You could be the 1980 Oilers, you're still not going to win."

Brodeur is five shutouts from Terry Sawchuk's NHL record of 103 and eight wins shy of Patrick Roy's league mark of 551. He did his talking with his play, and Avery declined comment.

"Marty has accomplished a lot. I don't think that ranks up there in the top 25 for that matter," Madden said of stopping Avery's team.

Langenbrunner made it 1-0 just 1:59 in, and Madden scored a pair 1:12 apart in the second. Turco was replaced by Stephan after Madden's second at 10:17.

"This season, it just seems that people I've played with and know well have been getting goals," Turco said. "That just a little extra personal anguish that you've got to endure.

"It's not like I'm never going to get scored on again, but if I didn't get scored on by college teammates ever again, it would be all right with me."

Avery made headlines during the playoffs when he tried the unorthodox approach of waving his arms and stick in the face of Brodeur while he and the Rangers were on a power play.

A rule eliminated the practice the following day, but couldn't stop the battle between the Vezina Trophy winner and the NHL's most despised player. Brodeur refused to shake Avery's hand after the Rangers knocked New Jersey out.

Brodeur gave Avery a few shoves to try to move him away from the crease in their latest meeting, and Avery complained that penalties weren't called. Brodeur fired a puck at Avery during a clearing attempt in the second period.

"He's a skill player when he plays hockey," Brodeur said. "Today he played hockey and it showed. He made some good plays."

Avery also renewed hostilities with Clarkson, who was called for interfering in the first period. Avery and Clarkson had a pre-game skirmish last November when Clarkson stepped in on Avery, who jawed with Brodeur.

Clarkson got some shots in on Avery after exiting the penalty box and seemed ready to drop the gloves, but Avery skated to the bench.

"I wasn't going to punch him when he wasn't going to fight back," Clarkson said. "He said something to me, that's why I dropped my stuff."

Avery stopped to talk to several fans in Devils jerseys, who yelled down to him as he walked into the tunnel toward the dressing room after warmups.

Avery has had a busy week. He made his return to Madison Square Garden on Monday and heard mostly boos. The booing, hissing and derogatory chants and taunts followed him across the river to New Jersey.

He will conclude his tour of the metropolitan area Thursday when the Stars face the New York Islanders.

Brodeur already has two shutouts in six games this season. This time, he was the beneficiary of a boatload of goals - at least by New Jersey standards. After scoring only six in the first four games, New Jersey has nine the past two.

His first big save came against Avery, who quickly one-timed a shot in the slot in the first period. Brodeur also flopped on his back into the net, while holding his glove behind his pads to keep the puck out in the second, and denied Mike Ribeiro on a breakaway in the third.

Notes: Brodeur beat Atlanta 1-0 last Thursday. ... Devils enforcer Pierre-Luc Leblond earned his first assist in his first NHL game. ... Stars D Doug Janik (facial cuts) missed his second straight.


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