Devils goalie holds off Habs


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New Jersey Devils made sure
Martin Brodeur didn't have to work hard for his 10th shutout of the

Relatively untested for the opening two periods, Brodeur made 21
saves to match his single-season career high for shutouts in a 2-0
victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night.

"I was really in the zone," Brodeur said after moving within
five shutouts of the NHL modern-era record set by Chicago's Tony
Esposito in 1969-70.

"I knew these guys were really hot and playing well
defensively. I knew I wouldn't get many shots, and these are the
kind of games where you have to really focus."

The shutout was the 74th of Brodeur's career and the Devils'
third in seven games. Brodeur had one other, and Scott Clemmensen
had one.

"I think it's always been a trademark," Devils coach Pat Burns
said of the recent shutouts. "When you have Marty, you have half
the battle done. It just depends on how the people in front of him

The Devils played very well. Montreal didn't have a shot for
almost the first 15 minutes and had only two in the first 14 minutes of
the second period.

"We were on top of things," Burns said.

Patrik Elias scored a short-handed goal and set up a power-play
tally by Grant Marshall for the Devils.

Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore had 22 saves, including a
third-period stop on a penalty shot by Marshall.

"Marty has always been ready as far as my knowledge,"
Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. "He made the big saves when he
had to. We just weren't able to complete our plays and finish them
off. We put on a little spurt at the end, the last eight minutes,
but it wasn't good enough."

The loss snapped the Canadiens' five-game (4-0-1) unbeaten
streak and prevented Montreal from moving ahead of New Jersey in
the standings.

Brodeur, 25-10-4 with six shutouts against his hometown team,
didn't face much work until the third period, when the Canadiens
had 12 shots.

Yanic Perreault, former Devil Pierre Dagenais, Patrice Brisebois
and Michael Ryder all had good chances, but Brodeur was in the right
spot in becoming the first goalie to blank the Canadiens since Oct.
28, a span of 39 games.

"We were flat for whatever reason," Montreal defenseman
Sheldon Souray said. "Whether we felt good about the win in Philly
or we felt this team would be tired after playing a lot of hockey,
but for some reason we were flat."

Elias gave the Devils the lead with a great short-handed goal
exactly a minute after acting New Jersey captain Scott Niedermayer
was called for tripping.

Elias made two outstanding plays in scoring his team-high 16th
goal. He poked the puck around Saku Koivu at the blue line to set
up the breakaway, then showed tremendous confidence beating
Theodore with a shot over his glove.

Marshall's power-play goal was more luck than skill. His shot from the right circle was deflected by Canadiens defenseman Francis Bouillon past Theodore.

Game notes
Montreal forward Jason Ward separated his left shoulder
midway through the third period when checked into the boards by
Devils defenseman David Hale. It is uncertain how long he will be
sidelined, Julien said. ... The loss ended a three-game winning
streak and was only the second in 11 games for Montreal (7-2-2).
... New Jersey was 1-for-20 on the power play before Marshall