Martin Brodeur stopped all 23 shots for the 114th shutout of his career
Devils Blog: In Lou We Trust
No Sidney Crosby.
No Evgeni Malkin.
It's not a mathematical formula by any means, but it might as well be given the outcome of this game.
The Penguins had no answer for the Devils tonight as Martin Brodeur stopped all 23 of Pittsburgh's shots en rout to career shutout number 114. For all intents and purposes, this game was over 10 minutes in when New Jersey's Nick Palmieri netted the Devils' second goal of the game to give them a two-goal lead. It's all they'd get the remainder of the game, but it's all they'd need as well.
Woe-is-me recap after the jump.
Any chance the Pens had at getting a goal in this game was quickly squashed. Three particular moments stand out right off the bat:
1) Max Talbot's first period shorty breakaway was defended well by Colin White, but the fact it resulted in a Penguins penalty (and Devils 5-on-3) instead of a much-needed goal was the obvious downside. Talbot has to bury that chance or, at the least, draw a penalty in the process. Crashing into Brodeur, no matter how much the call may have irked fans, is the last option in that scenario.
2) Matt Cooke's shove on Brodeur in the second period was entertaining, but it struck me as a missed scoring chance. This might be the biggest stretch of the three moments from the game since it's all based on hypothetical, but if that puck drops and Cooke gets a stick on it the Pens could've closed out that first period 2-1. Again, hypothetical. Trying for some positive thinking amidst the otherwise negative outcome.
3) Arron Asham received a good bounce off the boards in the third period that allowed him to put a shot on net that should've - again, should have - provided a better scoring chance or higher opportunity. But you can do one of two things in this situation - blame Asham for not finding the open part of the net (or shooting it right into the pads, for that matter) or you can credit Brodeur for a quick rebound off the bounce. It pains me to say, but I have to go with the latter here.
Also worth noting: The Pens took five penalties this game but only two guys spent time in the box; Max Talbot (twice for goaltender interference and once for a fight) and Chris Kunitz (two hooks). If anything, at least you can dismiss Talbot's fight as an attempt to fire up the team.
But look on the bright side - the Pens held Ilya Kovalchuk scoreless and the penalty-kill unit kept the Devils blanked on three chances (four if you include nine seconds of a 5-on-3.)
Obviously there were a few other scoring chances, minuscule as they may have been, but those three stand out to me the most. The rest are up for discussion in the comments, along with anything else that may have discouraged you from this game.
So, have at it.