It was vintage Marty Brodeur last night in Newark, so much so that the New Jersey Devils' 3-0 manhandling of the Philadelphia Flyers could have just as easily have been a highlight reel from the team's old Meadowlands arena days.
Brodeur recorded his 120th career shutout in front of a rowdy sellout crowd of 17,625 at the Prudential Center in Newark, turning away 24 shots in the team's home-opener, a contest that featured 70 penalty minutes.
Despite adding to his remarkable resume with his 10th career shutout of the Flyers and adding career regular-season win No. 658, the future Hall of Famer isn't getting too excited about his club's quick start to this shortened season.
"We're able to start 2-0, that's definitely nice, but it's over. We'll try to play well next game now," Brodeur said after the victory.
In addition to Brodeur's heroics between the pipes, New Jersey got a goal from Ilya Kovalchuk on a penalty shot and scores from David Clarkson and Travis Zajac, both players second goals of the young season. Despite Zajac's fast start, he was quick to deflect praise for the victory on his netminder:
"It was Marty, for sure," he said after the win, "he gives us a lot of confidence back there. He can control the puck back there, he makes timely saves when we need them. It's amazing the way he plays. He's the key to this team."
Coming off a lockout-induced 7-month layoff, there was concern among many that the 40-year-old Brodeur would be rusty and perhaps need some time to work into midseason form. His performance in the Devils first two contests, in which he has allowed one goal in six periods of play, has proven those concerns to be unfounded.
"I've worked really hard to get where I am, the team's playing well and I'm just trying to play hockey. I've been working really hard in practice to get to that point," Brodeur said.
New Jersey will try to register another two points when they take on the Washington Capitals Friday night in Newark.