Brodeur shines again as Devils blank Flyers

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By Brian Fitzsimmons

PA SportsTicker Staff Writer

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Though the New Jersey Devils are

trying to preach about team efforts, Martin Brodeur's personal

accolades keep getting in the way.

As long as the wins continue to accumulate, there won't be much

complaining.

Brodeur made 27 saves and defenseman Johnny Oduya scored a goal

and set up another as the Devils posted a 3-0 victory over the

Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

Captain Jamie Langenbrunner and Brian Gionta each tallied for

New Jersey, which extended its winning streak to three games.

"I thought we played a real strong team game today," Devils

coach Brent Sutter said. "For 60 minutes, we played well. I

think what it is, we were good on both sides of the puck and

good on both ends."

A four-time Vezina Trophy winner, Brodeur turned aside 10 shots

in the first period, six in the second and 11 in the third to

secure his 100th career shutout. The 36-year-old moved within

four of surpassing Terry Sawchuk's all-time record.

"That's a big number," Brodeur said of his milestone blanking.

"It's hard to believe it a little bit. Only one other guy has

gotten more, and it hit me when the guys were congratulating me.

"Shutouts are tough to get. It doesn't matter how you get

them."

Starting for the third time in four days since returning from a

50-game absence, Brodeur earned his 547th regular-season win and

needs four more to tie Patrick Roy's all-time mark.

"(Brodeur) made some big saves for us today," Sutter said. "He

played very well. There's not one guy in there that didn't have

a real good game."

Brodeur has stopped 66 of 68 shots in three games (3-0-0) since

coming back from a torn biceps muscle suffered on November 1.

"Today was a good game, an important game for our hockey club,"

Brodeur said. "It was a big challenge. The first two games

(back) were ... a little different than (facing) the Flyers. It

was a little more of a challenge."

Martin Biron made 39 saves for the Flyers, who dropped

back-to-back contests for the first time since January

31-February 4.

"(Brodeur) was awesome tonight," Philadelphia's Joffrey Lupul

said. "Every time they needed a save, he made it. You hear all

the talk when he was hurt, 'Should he be back again as a

starter.' That's crazy. He's an elite goalie."

Langenbrunner opened the scoring at 3:51 of the first period,

accepting a feed from All-Star Zach Parise and firing a snap

shot from the right faceoff circle that sailed by Biron for his

20th tally of the season.

Langenbrunner's 200th career goal was all Brodeur needed.

"It's great," Parise said of playing with Brodeur. "He's

getting records that won't be broken, in my opinion, and for him

to be that great and for me to be a part of it, it's amazing to

be a part of history."

New Jersey doubled its lead 37 seconds into the second, when

Oduya unleashed a slap shot from the high slot and Gionta

deflected it into the vacant net while stationed on the

doorstep.

"As a team, we have four capable lines of scoring goals and

other teams don't have that," Devils center Travis Zajac said.

"(Opposing teams) can't check one line because another one will

come right at you."

New Jersey has outscored opponents, 14-2, since Brodeur's

return.

"It's unbelievable to come back and do what he's done," Zajac

said. "He's fun to be around."

The Devils held a 20-6 advantage in shots during the middle

session, but were unable to capitalize on three power plays -

including a 5-on-3 advantage during which Biron turned aside

four shots.

"When you kill penalties in the second period, like we have

lately, it takes a lot out of you," Flyers captain Mike Richards

said. "It seems like the second period, we get in trouble,

shoot ourselves in the foot."

Oduya ended a 15-game goalless streak by taking an cross-ice

pass from David Clarkson and blasting a hard slap shot past

Biron at 4:48 of the third. Four of the Oduya's 13 career goals

have come against Philadelphia.

"(Oduya) played well," Sutter said. "All six guys back there

played well. They did a lot of good things."

Flyers center Daniel Briere made his long-anticipated return

from a three month absence. He recorded one shot in 16 minutes,

48 seconds of action.

The oft-injured 31-year-old was activated from injured reserve

Saturday after missing 36 games due to the lingering effects of

a slow-healing groin injury.

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