Devils goalie Martin Brodeur celebrated his return in a big way—with a goal! Yes, the first goal of the game was scored by the 40-year-old net-minder. This was his first start in a month and it seems he wanted to make sure everyone knew that he was back. It was a strange goal that might not have happened without a little luck. New Jersey had a delayed penalty and Jordan Staal shot the puck across the Devils’ zone. It banked off the boards and straight into the net while the ‘Canes goalie was headed off the ice for an extra attacker. It just so happened that Marty Brodeur was the last Devil to touch the puck.
In a post-game interview Brodeur claimed he did not even know the Carolina goalie was out of his net. Actually, he didn’t even know that he was the one who would get the goal until teammate Ilya Kovalchuk told him. When asked about scoring the first goal of the game, Brodeur said that “it was nice to contribute” with the goal and “it was a good break for [them].”
The game ended 4-1 New Jersey with the other three goals scored by Adam Henrique (assisted by Kovalchuk, Larsson), Peter Harrold (assisted by Elias, Zajac), and Loktionov (assisted by Bernier, Zajac). The lone Hurricane’s goal was scored by Jeff Skinner on the power play in the 3rd period (assisted by E. Staal, J. Staal) to take away the game-winning-goal and shutout from Marty.
Brodeur is no stranger to scoring goals. Before the game against Carolina, he previously had two goals to his name. One scored in April 1997 and the other in February 2000. He was due for another and his debut after a long injury was the perfect time for it. Along with a lengthy list of accomplishments, Martin Brodeur now has the record for most goals scored by a goalie. There are a handful of other goalies since 1980 that have put the puck in the opponent’s net. The more recent ones include Cam Ward (Carolina), Chris Mason (Nashville), and Mika Noronen (Buffalo).
As for it being his first night back in a month, Brodeur said that he continued to get more comfortable throughout the game and it was “fun to be back.” He made 17 saves on 18 shots and gave his team some new life in their struggling season. With a little help from the Florida Panthers beating the New York Rangers, the Devils took back the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. It will be interesting to see how the return of Brodeur impacts the rest of the Devils’ season.
Welcome back, Marty.