The New Jersey Devils beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Thursday to end a three-game skid. Goaltender Martin Brodeur led the Devils with 17 saves on 18 shots while also scoring the first goal of the game.
Brodeur was the last Devils’ player to touch the puck early in the first period before a delayed penalty was called on Marek Zidlicky. Carolina’s goaltender Dan Ellis rushed to the bench for an extra attacker when Jordan Stall missed on a pass to Tim Gleason. The pass bounced off the boards near center ice and slid its way into the net. Brodeur was credited with the goal, the third of his career.
The Devils opened it up in the second period after Adam Henrique and Peter Harrold scored less than a minute apart from each other for a commanding 3-0 lead. Jeff Skinner got the Hurricanes on the board with a slap shot that beat Brodeur just over 11 minutes into the third period. Five minutes later, Andrei Loktionov finished off the Hurricanes with his fifth goal of the season to make it 4-1 Devils.
The Devils lost the first two meetings with the Hurricanes this season, including a 6-3 loss at Carolina less than two weeks ago. The Hurricanes have now lost five straight games, giving up the lead in the Southeast Division to the Winnipeg Jets in the process.
Carolina has been without their star goaltender Cam Ward since March 4 due to a sprained MCL, and Dan Ellis has struggled as his replacement. The Hurricanes are 3-5-1 since losing Ward and have the next four days off before a meeting with the Jets. Carolina is currently tied with the New York Rangers for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Martin Brodeur returned to the Devils on Thursday after missing 13-games due to a pinched nerve in his upper back and neck. The Devils lost 11-of-13 games while Brodeur sat out due to injury. Here is the video of Brodeur’s unlikely goal against the Hurricanes:
The lackluster pass across the zone by Jordan Staal led to the empty net goal for the Devils. The more impressive part of the video is the save Brodeur makes just before Staal’s pass. The crowd went immediately silent after the goal, and the Devils looked to be quite confused as to who to celebrate with.
Brodeur was credited with the wild goal, and went on to hold off the Hurricanes for his ninth win of the season. Carolina struggled offensively, finishing with a season low in shots at 18.
The Devils next play on Saturday against the Florida Panthers who have the worst record in the NHL at 9-16-6. The Panthers have given up more goals than any other team this season and are practically out of the playoff race after winning the Southeast Division in 2012.
The Devils lost to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup finals in 2012 and are motivated to make it back again in 2013. Brodeur is tough to beat any night, especially in the playoffs, making any match-up with the Devils a toss-up for opposing teams. If Brodeur has his game going, good luck finding the net. The Devils beat the Hurricanes 4-1 Thursday, ending the losing streak in Brodeur’s return to the ice that featured one of the most unlikely goals in NHL history.