By Allan Muir
The Devils knew Martin Brodeur would make an impact in his return to action Thursday night. They just didn't realize it would be on the power play.
Making his first start since Feb. 21, the 40-year-old sniper opened the scoring in New Jersey's 4-1 win over the Hurricanes. He picked up a loose puck behind his net, dashed into the neutral zone, pirouetted through a phalanx of defenders and then went roof daddy on the ghost of Jacques Plante.
Alright, that might be the story he tells the grand kids, but the reality wasn't quite that spectacular. Brodeur was credited with the tally as the last Devil to touch the puck before Jordan Staal's hard pass to the point caromed off the boards and down the ice into the cage that had been vacated by Dan Ellis moments earlier because of a delayed penalty call on New Jersey.
It was the third goal Brodeur has earned over his career, but the first ever on the power play. In fact, he's just the second goalie to score on the PP--Evgeni Nabokov was the first back in 2002.
And how's this for the ice-leveling powers of the hockey gods: the last goalie to light the lamp? Carolina's Cam Ward, who was credited with a goal last season when New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk sent the puck the length of the ice into his own net.