Martin Brodeur set an NHL record for games played by a goaltender and helped make the milestone a win with 27 saves and an assist, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Newark, N.J. last night.
Brodeur passed Patrick Roy with his 1,030th appearance. Roy, who played for Montreal and Colorado, played 18 seasons. Brodeur is in his 16th season, all with New Jersey.
"It's not as important as winning," Brodeur said of the record. "The reason why I'm here is to win hockey games. But I guess it says a lot about being a good goalkeeper, staying around so long. People seem to make a lot more about it than I do. I guess you have to love the game to be able to stick around."
Jay Pandolfo snapped a second-period tie with a late goal and defenseman Bryce Salvador scored his first of the season for the Devils with a little more than 10 minutes left. Jamie Langenbrunner and Brian Rolston scored early goals for the Devils.
Alexandre Picard and Jarkko Ruutu scored for Ottawa, which lost for the ninth straight time to New Jersey, dating to 2007.
Brodeur gave the Devils a scare midway through that period, when Ottawa's Jonathan Cheechoo crashed into the goalie with his shoulder. Brodeur was sprawled on the ice for several minutes, but after receiving medical attention, he put his mask on and remained in goal.
Brodeur was credited with an assist on Langenbrunner's goal, his second assist in three games.
In other games:
* At Buffalo, Ryan Miller made 40 saves for his 20th win of the season, and the Sabres scored four goals in the second period of a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Derek Roy, Toni Lydman, Mike Grier and Matt Ellis all scored in the middle period for Buffalo in its eighth straight win over the Maple Leafs. Thomas Vanek also scored.
* At St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier had a pair of assists, giving him 700 points for his career, and the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a six-game winless skid with a 6-3 victory over the Blues. Jeff Halpern and Steven Stamkos each scored twice and Martin St. Louis had a goal and two assists for the Lightning.
* At Chicago, Boston's Tim Thomas stopped 40 shots in regulation and overtime, but shootout goals by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane gave the Blackhawks a 5-4 win over the Bruins.
* At Sunrise, Fla., Rostislav Olesz and Radek Dvorak each scored one goal and assisted on two others as the Florida Panthers rolled to a 6-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
* Former Flyer Reggie Fleming, who died in July, had brain damage due to repeated head trauma, linking hockey for the first time to a condition usually found in boxers, the New York Times reported yesterday.
Fleming, who played for the Flyres during the 1969-70 season and with five other teams during a 12-year career in the NHL, was found by Boston University researchers to have had Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a disease that causes cognitive decline, behavioral abnormalities and ultimately dementia, the Times reported. Fleming is the first hockey player known to have been tested for the disease, which was also found in several former NFL players recently.
* A van carrying equipment for the Minnesota Wild caught fire yesterday in Ottawa and left the team scrambling ahead of its game tonight against the Senators. The team said that all of starting goaltender Nicklas Backstrom's equipment was destroyed.