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Early spurt helps Brodeur tie Roy's all-time wins record

MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Martin Brodeur was welcomed home by

Montreal and into the NHL record book.

Brodeur tied Patrick Roy's NHL career regular-season mark of 551

wins when the New Jersey goalie led the Devils to a 3-1 victory

over the hometown Canadiens on Saturday night.

Under the watchful eye of his father, former Canadiens team

photographer Denis Brodeur, who looked on and took pictures from

a front-row seat, Brodeur caught up to the former Montreal

goalie he idolized as a child.

The sold-out crowd of 21,273 chanted the name of Montreal's

native son when time ran out, and Brodeur's father wiped away a

tear.

"To look around and see the guys reacting ... I finally did it,"

Brodeur said. "The only one I knew where he was sitting was my

dad. He had a pretty good seat."

Brodeur was as steady as ever in making 22 saves and tying the

record held by the Hockey Hall of Famer, who watched from a

suite. Brodeur has earned seven wins in eight straight starts

after a 50-game absence caused by the first serious injury of

his career.

He will get his first chance at setting the mark Tuesday night

at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Brodeur, who was surrounded by his teammates, did a double fist

pump and raised his stick to the crowd in appreciation after his

986th regular-season NHL game.

"The recognition from the fans was tremendous and something I

will never forget," he said.

Back in 1986, Brodeur cheered Roy at the Canadiens' Stanley Cup

parade along St. Catherine St. Roy returned the favor Saturday

morning by going to see Brodeur.

"He visited me at the hotel before I came over here and he

wished me good luck," Brodeur said Saturday morning. "That was

really nice of him. He's pretty busy with his junior team so for

him to take the time, I really appreciate it."

Patrik Elias had a goal and assist to tie John MacLean's

franchise record of 701 points, and Brian Rolston netted his

300th goal as both New Jersey veterans scored with the man

advantage in the first. Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner

restored New Jersey's two-goal lead in the third.

"When we scored the third goal, I thought, 'All right. This

could be it,'" Brodeur said.

Tomas Plekanec scored his 20th goal at 12:29 of the first, the

only puck that got past Brodeur. That took away any chance of a

shutout. Brodeur has 100 of those, only three behind Terry

Sawchuk's career NHL mark of 103.

Elias recorded his 700th career point with his 28th goal on a

two-man advantage 5:27 in. Rolston made it 2-0 at 11:08.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 45 shots for the Canadiens, 1-1-1 in

three games since general manager Bob Gainey took over behind

the bench after firing head coach Guy Carbonneau on Monday.

Patrice Brisebois appeared in his 1,000th regular season game

after he was a healthy scratch for Montreal's four previous

games.

The 36-year-old Brodeur improved to 13-3-2 this season. He has

been virtually unstoppable since returning from the first

serious injury of his 15-year career, a torn biceps in his left

arm that was surgically repaired in November.

He missed 50 games because of the injury, after sitting out only

12 games during his previous 14 seasons, and hasn't skipped a

start since his return.

Brodeur is a four-time winner of the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's

top goalie and he has captured the Stanley Cup three times with

the Devils. One time the title got away was in 2001 when the

Devils lost Game 7 of the finals to Roy and the Colorado

Avalanche -- a disappointment he recalled as he stood on the

edge of history.

He won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 1994 and

backstopped New Jersey's championship teams in 1995, 2000 and

2003.

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