That goaltender Martin Brodeur “tweaked” his right shoulder in tonight’s 2-1 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings wasn’t necessarily a good thing for the Devils, but in one way Brodeur’s injury helped them.
The extended stoppage in play that occurred while medical trainer Rich Stinziano was looking at Brodeur with 7:57 remaining in the first period became a unofficial timeout for the Devils. The Devils had struggled up to that point, turning the puck over numerous times and were running around in their own end. A bad line change led to a 3-on-2 and a breakdown in coverage that resulted in Simon Gagne’s goal that gave the Kings a 1-0 lead 1:47 into the game. That the score was still 1-0 when Brodeur was injured was due mostly to Brodeur’s play. In fact, he was injured after a flurry of shots while the Devils were scrambling in the defensive zone and unable to clear the puck.
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This game started off sloppy, the Devils giving up a goal to Simon Gagne just 1:47 into the first period. Then Marty Brodeur went down to an apparent shoulder injury and required medical attention (though he did remain in the game). And then, the Devils took off. Patrick Elias tied the game up at 1 at 13:03 in the first. Devils closed out the first strong, tacking on 15 shots to the Kings 11. Brodeur would not take the ice in the second period; Johan “Moose” Hedberg would relieve him in goal. Hedberg, making his second appearance of the season (1 start) was absolutely fantastic, stopping all 16 shots he faced tonight. Good sign for the Devils was that Brodeur watch the game from the bench, a positive sign that his injury was not too serious. The Devils and Kings would remained tied all through regulation. Both team failed to score in a sudden death overtime period which led to a shootout. This would be the first Devils shootout of the season; For the Kings, their 2nd. The Devils would elect to shoot first, and sent Ilya Kovachuk to lead off. He would score. So did Parise in the Devils second attempt. Hedberg stopped both Kings’ shots. And the Devils won, 2-1.
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As you’ve probably surmised from the title, the Devils won their first OT contest of the season (a shootout) against the LA Kings. It’s nice to know that the Devils can perform well enough 4 on 4 and in a shootout to eek out a victory, but, in my opinion, this game should have never made it past regulation. After the Kings scored 1:47 into the 1st period, the Devils played an outstanding hockey game. They controlled the puck for almost the entire 2nd half. Of course they weren’t able to score more than one goal in regulation (and that was a Patrik Elias tally in the 1st period). And that’s bothersome. Nevertheless, they hung in there and eventually came away with 2 points.
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