Philadelphia, PA – Mired in a 10-game losing streak and with their fading playoff hopes hanging on by a thread, New Jersey got the game it needed from its best player.
Martin Brodeur turned aside 23 shots for his 121st career shutout as the Devils took a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.
New Jersey hadn't won a game since March 23rd, which was Brodeur's 666th career victory. At the time, the Devils occupied the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, but now the team is on the outside looking in as they are six points back of the Rangers with five games to play.
"It seems like it's been a long time so I'm glad for the guys," said New Jersey head coach Peter DeBoer. "That's the kind of effort we've been putting out for a while now, but didn't get rewarded. We were sitting at 1-0 and the thought begin to creep into your mind, here we go again. We found a way in the third and the guys deserved the win."
Ryan Carter, Matt D'Agostini and Adam Henrique scored the goals for the Devils, who came into the game having been blanked by Toronto and Ottawa.
The Flyers, meanwhile, came into the contest having won two straight in an attempt to claw their way into a playoff spot, but this loss has all but eliminated the team as they are seven points back with four games to play.
Ilya Bryzgalov gave up two goals on 30 shots in the loss.
"Well you know what, it's a disappointing season," said Flyers captain Claude Giroux. "There's still a couple games left but it's frustrating the way we played this game. They won more battles than us, that's the thing."
After a scoreless first period, the Devils got on the board at the 5:36 mark of the second period. Shortly after the Flyers failed on an odd man break the other way, Stephen Gionta picked off the puck in the neutral zone and went the other way. Skating down the right wing, he fired a pass to the slot where Carter zipped it home for his fifth of the year.
D'Agostini put the game away with 5:50 to play in the contest as he capped a short breakaway with a wrister between the pads of Bryzgalov for his third goal of the year.
Brodeur preserved the shutout and helped the Devils avoid a franchise-record 11th straight loss with seven saves in the third and Henrique put the puck in the empty net with just over a minute to play to cap the scoring.
Brodeur has two shutouts this season ... New Jersey last lost 10 in a row from Oct. 14-Nov. 4, 1983 ... New Jersey hosts Florida on Saturday ... The Flyers play at Carolina on Saturday ... New Jersey won four of five against Philadelphia this season.