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Devils extend home winning streak, trounce Coyotes

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- During his 15-year career, Martin

Brodeur has played for Stanley Cups, Olympic gold medals and

world championships.

A relatively easy 26-save performance on Thursday night in the

New Jersey Devils' 5-2 win over the hapless Phoenix Coyotes has

put Brodeur in position to return home to Montreal and play for

something just as important - Patrick Roy's NHL mark for career

wins by a goaltender.

"Now, there's something to really get excited about, with the

possibility of tying it on Saturday," Brodeur said after the

Devils set a franchise record with their ninth straight home

win. "I'm happy we won and I'll be very happy to tie it in

Montreal.

"It just adds to the story. You can't ask for a better script.

Everything happens for a reason. I just want to be able to put

this all behind me. It feels good to be back playing and to get

a chance like this."

Brodeur admitted the hardest thing to do this weekend will be to

keep his emotions in check. He has already taken some of the

distractions out of the mix, telling friends and neighbors not

to bother him for tickets in Montreal, where Roy starred for a

large chunk of his career.

"It's definitely going to be a different atmosphere," he said.

"I'll try to maintain my emotions and try not to be distracted

by it all."

The 36-year-old, four-time Vezina Trophy winner insists the

experience is going to be fun, adding he was going to play hard

on Saturday no matter how many wins he had.

"This is going to be a bit of pressure and stuff," Brodeur said.

"It should be fun. I'm happy I'll be able to live it, and live

it with my family and friends."

Brodeur faced no more than five quality chances in winning for

the sixth time in seven games since returning from surgery on

February 26. He missed 50 games after having a torn biceps in

his left elbow repaired.

Zach Parise and John Madden scored in the opening 2:56 as the

Devils won for the 11th time in 14 games. Dainius Zubrus,

Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac also had goals.

Scottie Upshall and Steven Reinprecht tallied for the Coyotes,

who have lost four in a row and seven of eight.

Devils' fans gloated in the woes of Phoenix coach Wayne

Gretzky's team, remembering the Great One's playing days when he

referred to the Devils as a Mickey Mouse organization after the

team moved to New Jersey in the early 1980s.

After the two quick goals, and at several other times during the

game, the crowd chanted "Mickey Mouse Club" to rub it in.

It almost made Brodeur's pursuit of the record a ho-hum part of

the game.

Taking advantage of a turnover, Parise scored 18 seconds after

the opening faceoff for his 40th of the season. It came on the

first shot against Josh Tordjman, a 24-year-old goalie making

only his second start. This one came against his fellow

Montreal native.

"The guy is a Hall of Fame goaltender, definitely one of the

tops in the league," Tordjman said of Brodeur. "It was special,

and at the same time, I took it as a challenge. When you face

that guy, you want to beat him, for sure. It was definitely

special. Those first two goals early on, that was a bump in the

road. As the game got on, I felt more comfortable."

Jamie Langenbrunner set up Parise's second goal in two games by

finding the left wing in the circle. His opening shot of the

game found the back of the net.

"It's always a good feeling to get one that quickly," Parise

said. "It gets everyone excited, including the fans, right

away. It's much easier in this league to play with a lead.

Regardless of who is in net, you want to make sure you get all

you can as early as you can."

Madden stretched the margin to 2-0 with the Devils' third shot.

Defenseman Johnny Oduya took a shot from the right point and

Madden tipped it into the corner of the net for his seventh

goal.

That spelled immediate trouble for Phoenix, which has scored

fewer than three goals in all eight games in their skid.

Upshall got the Coyotes back in the game at 9:34 with his 10th

goal early in a four-minute power play assessed to Zubrus for

high-sticking. Petr Prucha tipped a loose puck to Upshall, who

backhanded it in with Brodeur caught out of position.

New Jersey broke the game open in the second period. Brendan

Shanahan set up Zubrus for a one-timer at 7:11, and Elias

converted a 2-on-1 with Brian Gionta for a 4-1 lead.

Zajac scored in the third period with the Devils' enjoying a

two-man advantage. Reinprecht tallied with 2:08 to go.

Now all that is left for Brodeur is getting win No. 551.

"It is going to be unbelievable," Tordjman said of the game in

Montreal. "He is getting a chance to do it where Patrick had

glorious years of his career. Definitely, it will be special

for Marty and a big moment in the history of hockey."

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