Saturday, April 21, 2012

N.J. Devils ~ Relighting the Fire

From the desk of:   THE BRICK CITY DEMONS


Florida Panthers      0
New Jersey Devils  4
Brick City, New Jersey

Series Tied 2-2
I  -  NJD 3; FLA 2
II  -  FLA 4; NJD 2
III  -  FLA 4; NJD 3
IV  -  NJD 4; FLA 0

Saturday Night:

Devils @ Panthers

NEW JERSEY DEVILS:  Marty Catches Fire After Getting Doused in Game Three.

N.J. Devils - Sticking Themselves With Own Pitchforks
N.J. Devils - Game One; Stanley Cup Playoffs

Did Martin Brodeur regroup and rebound to shut out the Florida Panthers 4-0 as a follow-up to getting pulled during a 3-3 tie in Game Three, like a certain future Hall of Fame goaltender can?  Or, did Coach Peter DeBoer instigate Thursday night's effort out of Marty by showing him the bench early in the second period of Game Three, after surrendering a three goal lead?  Well, Brodeur is the one who actually plays, not Coach DeBoer.  So, I'd lean towards the Hall of Famer on that one.  But there's no doubt Coach got Marty thinking.  And that's his job.  What's more, I like Pete Deboer.  I think he's a good coach.

Coach said he did it to create a spark for the team.  Pulling Marty may not have been successful in that endeavour as the Devils lost Game Three by a 4-3 score.  But the move paid off brilliantly in Game Four.  Martin Brodeur faced twenty-six shots and stopped them all and added yet another record to his resume.

The game remained scoreless for the first twenty-six minutes of play, until Zach Parise scored on a power play at the 6:08 mark.  For Parise, the goal was his second of the series.  And through two periods, Marty stopped seventeen shot to make the 1-0 lead stand.

The Devils opened up the gates and unleashed the hounds in the third period.  They quickly pounced for a goal at 2:02, when Steve Bernier scored his first of the series.  A minute and a half later, Travis Zajac struck for his second goal of the playoffs, putting Florida in a suddenly late 3-0 hole.  The knockout blow then came at 8:32, when Ilya Kovalchuck scored his second of the playoffs on a power play, for a 4-0 New Jersey lead, and eventual final.

Marty Brodeur took care of the rest by stopping nine third period shots by the Panthers.  That now makes 101 playoff wins for the career long Devils' goalie.  And in posting a 4-0 shutout, he surpasses Patrick Roy for the most playoff shutouts in NHL history with shutout number twenty-four.

Tied up at two games apiece, this series now has a pair of legs.  Both teams will head back to Florida for Game Five Saturday evening before returning back to The Rock next Tuesday, where the Devils can wrap things up if they take care of business down in Sunrise first.


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