The New Jersey Devils had four days to sit and think about their 1-4-1 start, the organization’s worst since 1983-84. The team spent three days practicing, attempting to iron out the wrinkles. The Devils then flew up to Montreal, looking to continue their dominance over the rivals in Canada and show the start was a fluke. Despite being outshot and outplayed in the first period, the Devils leaned on Martin Brodeur and won their first game in regulation, blanking the Canadiens, 3-0.
Marty Loves Some Home Cooking
Brodeur loves to play in Montreal. Coming into tonight’s game, Brodeur was 17-14-2 with a 1.80 goals against average, a .935 save percentage and four shutouts. The stellar play continued for Brodeur in his hometown tonight. Brodeur needed to be sharp in the first period, when the Devils were outshot, 10-3, and gave the Habs some good scoring chances. That continued into the second period, where Brodeur once again turned away the Habs. But he would save his best performance for the third period.
After Matt Taormina increased the lead to 3-0 (more on that later), the Habs began to open it up. Brodeur’s best saves came with the Devils on the penalty kill. The first great save came on a scramble play at the front of the net. Brodeur went behind the net to play the puck, and was bumped by his own defenseman. With the net open, Brodeur had to scramble back. Andy Greene blocked Brian Gionta‘s shot, but the puck deflected toward the net. Broduer, on his back, used his mask to keep it out and maintain the shutout.
Brodeur then made three consecutive saves at 7:01 of the period to keep the game scoreless. Gionta had the puck next to the net, and tried to stuff it home. The Devils’ goalie went to the splits to make the save, and kept the pads down on the ice to stop several more stuff tries.
Brodeur now has 112 career shutouts, and nine shutouts against the Habs. Only the Islanders have been blanked more by Brodeur (10) then the Canadiens.
Arnott Hits The Century Mark
Jason Arnott, like many of the Devils, struggled through the first six games of the season. The center sat at two goals and carried a -7 rating. Four days off seemed to do the Devils’ center good. With New Jersey holding on to a tenuous one goal lead in the second period, Arnott put the nail in the coffin. With the Devils controlling the puck in the zone, Jamie Langenbrunner skated the puck from behind the net. He left a drop pass for Dainius Zubrus, who held the puck along the boards. Zubrus sent the puck to Arnott, who set up low in the left circle. The center whipped a wrist shot on net that deflected off of Dustin Boyd and through the legs of Carey Price for the goal.
It was Arnott’s 100th as a Devil. Congratulations to him for hitting that milestone with the club.
For the rest of the recap, read after the jump!
Taormina Continues His Hot Play
Slowly but surely, I’m starting to really appreciate Taormina. The Devils rookie defenseman played a solid game tonight, getting 20:49 of ice time. He also scored his second career goal, blasting a puck through a screen off a faceoff to give the Devils a 3-0 lead.
Speaking of Zubrus, he had some quality scoring chances tonight, but couldn’t find the back of the net. It happens sometimes.
Price played a solid game for Montreal, but the Devils had some luck on their side. Two fluke goals put the Habs in a hole, and they weren’t Price’s fault.
The whole fans vote on the three stars thing in Montreal? It was ok. The fans left Arnott off the list and put Parise as the second star, which I didn’t agree with. But it’s still cool to have them vote on the stars of the game.
The Devils are off until Saturday, when they take on the Buffalo Sabres at the Rock.
Photo Credits: Paul Chiasson/AP Photo