Earlier this week Martin Brodeur reached a new milestone in his career, surpassing Patrick Roy for games played by a goaltender with 1,030. No doubt an impressive feat, especially since he's recorded 579 wins in the process (and hey, 105 ties). But I think the one record that is still looming overhead, posing as a bit of a motivator and perhaps storm cloud for Devils opponents is Terry Sawchuk's shutout record.
Back on December 7th, Brodeur tired Sawchuk's shutout record (103) with a 3-0 win over the Sabres. He, the Devils and NJ fans are still waiting for 104. The rest of the league is waiting as well, and will happily continue to wait as long as necessary. Brodeur currently leads all goaltenders with 22 wins, just one better than Marc-Andre Fleury.
As of right now the Devils and Penguinshave a firm holding in the Atlantic division, each tied with 51 points. The first place tie carries over to conference standings as well, where Washington sits just one point behind the two in second. In essence, tonight's game is a big one. Especially when you consider how poorly the Penguins have played against NJ this year.
October 24th: 4-1 loss
November 12th: 4-1 loss
It's not the end of the world by any means, but the opportunity to rebound in the season series presents itself tonight. On the calendar the Devils have put together 8-2 record for the month of December and skate into Pittsburgh as winners in four straight.
Offensively the Devils are - well, the Devils. Zach Parise leads all skaters with 37 pts (15g, 22a), while Jamie Langenbrunner and Travis Zajac are both hovering around that same area with 29 and 27 points each, respectively. Although Parise is chipping in where he can (two assists against Atlanta the other night), he's yet to score a goal in the entire month of December (10 games).
Puck and thread drop at 7:30.
And just for giggles, who do you think will score Pittsburgh's first goal?