2/8/2007 10:16:25 PM
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Martin Brodeur posted his NHL-best 10th shutout of the season on Thursday night, stopping 25 shots to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 2-0 victory over the New York Islanders.
Jamie Langenbrunner broke a scoreless tie midway through the second period and Jay Pandolfo added a short-handed goal with 3:36 left to lead the Devils to their fourth straight win and 15th in 20 games.
The Devils moved to within four points of the Buffalo Sabres for the best record in the Eastern Conference. New Jersey has played one fewer game.
Brodeur, who benefited from a shot off the post by Jason Blake in the second period, had to work hard late to preserve his 90th career regular-season shutout. He made a great glove save on Brendan Witt's slap shot with about six minutes to play, before stopping Tom Poti, Blake and Mike Sillinger during the power play on which Pandolfo scored.
The loss overshadowed an outstanding 35-save performance by Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, who posted his 11th NHL shutout Wednesday. It also marked the first time in nine games that New York failed to earn a point (5-1-3).
Brodeur has 90 career shutouts, four behind George Hainesworth for second in NHL history. Terry Sawchuk has the record with 103.
Langenbrunner started and ended the play on the Devils' first goal. He sent a back pass from along the boards in the Devils zone to Paul Martin. The defenceman made a quick cross-ice pass that sent Zach Parise and Travis Zajac on a break.
Islanders defenceman Bruno Gervais prevented Parise from getting a good shot, but DiPietro seemed to lose his footing. Langenbrunner swatted the loose puck past him on the second try.