Martin Brodeur turned 40 today. And oh, what a joyous birthday it was.
To celebrate, the league's oldest goaltender gave his team a nice 3-1 series advantage.
The New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers met for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Newark tonight, and the Devils came away with one of the best games they've played as a team all playoffs.
Twelve minutes into the game, Scott Hartnell redirected a shot and got the puck past Brodeur. It was disconcerting, but not overly so—especially given that the Flyers are 1-4 when scoring first.
Less than two minutes later, Claude Giroux forced a shorthanded breakaway, lifting the puck over Brodeur's leg and giving the Flyers a two-goal lead.
From that point on, Marty was flawless. He stopped the rest of the shots in the first while his team fought back to even the score. He faced five more shots in the second, stopping them all.
With just over two minutes remaining, Dainius Zubrus scored the go-ahead goal to give the Devils their first lead of the night.
Working with a lead, Marty turned aside all 10 shots he faced in the third and even assisted on the eventual empty-net goal scored by Zubrus.
He may not have shined in comparison to his Philadelphia counterpart—Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside 39 of 42 shots—but Brodeur came away with a win, and that's all that matters.
With the best present possible given the circumstances, Marty will be able to celebrate his birthday tonight before getting back to work in hopes of closing out the Flyers in Game 5, which will be Tuesday night in Philly.