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Brodeur ties NHL record, Devils edge Canadiens

The Canadian Press

12/16/2009 10:55:08 PM

NEWARK, N.J. - Martin Brodeur reached another milestone, and the New Jersey Devils kept rolling at the expense of the Montreal Canadiens.

Brodeur tied Patrick Roy's NHL record for regular-season appearances by a goalie, and Patrik Elias scored the winner with 2:36 left in the Devils' 2-1 victory over the Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Brodeur played his 1,029th game, all with New Jersey in his 16-year career. Roy played for Montreal and Colorado in his 18-year career.

"It's durability," Brodeur said. "That's what playing a lot of games is. It's being durable, and it's being successful, because if you're not, the coach doesn't put you in there."

It marked the second time in two seasons that Brodeur equalled one of Roy's records against Montreal. Brodeur tied Roy for career wins last March, getting his 551st in the Bell Centre. Brodeur has pushed that total to 578.

The game had a familiar feel, like many of the games Brodeur played over the years with tight checking and few opportunities for either side.

"It was kind of boring, but it was a big win," Brodeur said. "We were playing a team (that's) not doing really well right now so they are trying to keep it simple. They really didn't do much out there and they didn't give us many opportunities."

Illka Pikkarainen also scored to help the Devils beat Montreal for the fifth straight time. Travis Moen scored for Montreal, which has lost four straight -- all by one goal.

"We've got to keep improving," Montreal coach Jacques Martin said. "You hope to learn some lessons from them."

On the winning goal, Brian Rolston fired a shot that Elias directed toward Carey Price. Elias continued to the net and knocked in his own rebound.

"I know they go to the net hard," Price said. "He got some wood on it as the shot came towards me. I just tried to steer it into the corner. Good teams get to net to score goals and that's what Elias did."

The Devils had four power plays to none for the Canadiens in the first period. Despite the disadvantage, Montreal came out of the period with a 1-0 lead thanks to Moen's short-handed goal.

Devils defenceman Andy Greene, manning the right point, sent a cross-ice pass to Jamie Langenbrunner who attempted a return feed. Langenbrunner flubbed the puck and Moen pounced, skating three zones to deposit a backhander behind Brodeur for an unassisted goal at 12:23.

The Devils' fourth line came up with the equalizer when Pikkarainen scored at 16:25 of the second.

Pikkarainen, a 28-year-old from Finland playing his first NHL season, got his first goal on a rising shot that Price tried to snare with his glove. Price lost sight of the puck after it ticked off his mitt and landed in the crease. Price actually knocked it into the cage with a skate as he backed into net.

"I saw the shot coming and I reached above my head to try and glove it down," Price said. "I guess I batted it down right behind me. I thought it was still up in the air, so I started backing up. I guess I kicked it in."

There were few chances through two periods in the tight-checking contest with the Devils holding a 17-15 edge in shots.

NOTES: Brodeur made his 11th consecutive starting. Including a relief appearance, Brodeur has played in 18 straight. ... Former Devils forward Scott Gomez was booed every time he touched the puck. The Devils did not face another former teammate Brian Gionta, who remains sidelined by a broken foot. Gionta left New Jersey over the summer, signing five-year free-agent contract with Montreal.