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New Jersey Devils Elder Statesmen Coming Up Big

Martin Brodeur, Jaromir Jagr Help Devils Climb Back into Playoff Race

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COMMENTARY | Time may stop for no man, but it looks to at least have taken a slight pause in the case of the New Jersey Devils' Martin Brodeur and Jaromir Jagr.

Two weeks ago the writing was on the wall for a changing of the guard at the New Jersey Devils' goaltending position. Cory Schneider had started three consecutive games and Brodeur was sitting on the bench with an unsightly .865 save percentage and was allowing 3.40 goals per game.

A minor injury sidelined Schneider and Brodeur has been brilliant since then, going 4-1 and is coming off back-to-back shutouts. He has improved his goals-against average to 2.09 and his save percentage has climbed to .908.

Jagr had a goal and an assist in the Devils 5-0 win over Nashville on Sunday and is leading the team in points and plus/minus. He became the eighth player in league history to reach 1,700 points and is the first European player to do so.

The two 41 year olds are one key reason the Devils have climbed back into the playoff race and are just three points out of third place in the Metropolitan after winning just once in their first 10 games.

Marek Zidlicky, a mere youngster at 36, had a goal and an assist in the win over Nashville, while the team's other senior member, Patrik Elias, is still nursing back spasms and has missed the last five games, but has been productive when in the line-up with seven points in 10 games.

While the greybeards are expected to good things on the ice, one person who necessarily isn't is Cam Janssen, perhaps the biggest surprise in the team's 2-0-1 run. Janssen has scored twice in three games since being called up from Albany and entered the year with three goals in his eight NHL seasons.

The Devils will need the old-timers to perform their magic once again during the week, as they visit the New York Rangers on Tuesday and follow that up with home games against the Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday and Saturday. It's a pivotal three-game stretch that could set the foundation for the remainder of the season.

Allen Moody is an author and sports bettor living in Nevada. A newspaper sports reporter for 12 years, he has been a fan of the New Jersey Devils since the "Mickey Mouse" years in the early 1980s.

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