RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – With the return of Devil’s goaltender Martin Brodeur, the Devils pushed themselves back into playoff position.
Brodeur’s return helped rally the team to a 4-1 victory in the PNC Arena in front of a sellout Hurricane crowd.
After a 13-game absence, the future hall-of-famer came up with a 17-save and 1-goal night.
The goaltender was credited with the team’s first score at 3:45 into the 1st. With a delayed penalty to Marek Zidlicky, Brodeur was able to push the puck out to the boards where it was retrieved by Carolina’s Jordon Staal whose pass missed Tim Gleason and sent the puck off the boards sliding squarely into the back of the net giving New Jersey the early 1-0 lead.
Thirteen goals have been credited to goaltenders in NHL history and this was Brodeur’s 3rd of his illustrious career.
Luckily the Devils were able to get out of the rest of the period unscathed as the offensive momentum was completely controlled by Carolina. The period ended with shots in favor of the Canes 11-4.
With five minutes expired in the 2nd the Devils had only managed to squeak out seven SOG total.
The momentum began to swing back in favor of New Jersey at 12:52 with a score by Adam Henrique after a flurry of chances in front of the net. Just 38 seconds later Peter Harrold added to a 2-0 score beating Hurricane goalie Dan Ellis making it 3-0, a position the Devils have not been used to as of late.
Devil defensemen have begun to pick up play with goals in three consecutive games.
New Jersey fans began to salivate at the thought of shutout number 281 on Marty’s first night back but the pipe dream was ruined at 8:33 in the 3rd with a Jeff Skinner goal on the Carolina power play. With as close as it’s been in the east it is not time to be greedy but time to secure every point possible.
Andre Loktionov was able to slam the game home with 3 minutes left on a beautiful back-hander on the Devils power play. New Jersey was 2 for 3 with the extra attacker.
Now that New Jersey’s rock is back in the net this could prove exactly what the Devils have needed. The Devils were 3-8-1 during the stretch without Brodeur who hadn’t played a game since February 21. The Devils looked like more confident on the ice knowing they have arguably the best goalie of all-time guarding their back.
With only a few weeks of play left New Jersey needs to keep their foot on the gas straight through to the post season.
Follow us on Twitter @prohockeynews and @AnthonyPHN