January 13, 2010
Despite entering play with more games played in the building (40) than any other hostile rink, Martin Brodeur had never recorded a regular-season shutout at Madison Square Garden. Until Tuesday, that is. Believe it or not there were multiple firsts on this night for Brodeur, who apparently still had some mountains to climb after setting the NHL's all-time shutouts record on Dec. 21. The Garden milestone also marked the first time Brodeur has recorded 50 saves in a shutout. He made 51 saves in all and was a perfect 4-for-4 in the shootout as the Devils beat the Rangers 1-0 on a night that saw overtime end with 96 shots and no goals.
Tampa jumped all over the Caps in the first period, with Stamkos scoring twice to give the Lightning a 4-1 lead. The advantage evaporated in the second period, but Stamkos set up Martin St. Louis'(notes) 250th career goal on the power play for what held up as the game-winner. The 7-4 win allowed Tampa Bay to snap a 12-game losing streak against Washington and the three-point night propelled Stamkos past his rookie totals in both goals (25) and points (47).
Laperriere had a busy second period in a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. He assisted on a Kimmo Timonen(notes) shorthanded goal at 7:53, scored his third goal of the season at 13:00, then dropped the gloves with Mark Fistric(notes) at 16:01 to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick. That's a lot to pack into a 10-minute span. Secondary scoring was a key for Philadelphia on Tuesday. The Flyers, 8-1-1 in their last 10, got points from 14 players for the first time since 1997.
Honorable Mention: Henrik Lundqvist(notes) got a shutout as a parting gift, making a career-high 45 saves in that 1-0 loss to New Jersey. … Rob Schremp(notes) recorded his first two-goal game in the NHL and Dwayne Roloson(notes) posted a 16-save shutout in the Islanders' 6-0 pasting of the Red Wings. … Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) had a goal and two assists as Atlanta beat a shorthanded Ottawa team 4-1 for its first regulation win in 21 games. … Marcel Goc(notes) scored his career-best ninth goal and was one of five Predators to record multi-point efforts in a 5-3 win over the free-falling Oilers. … Evgeni Nabokov(notes) made 32 saves in a 3-1 San Jose win over Phoenix, giving him 65 saves in road wins on back-to-back nights. And speaking of the Sharks …
Did You Know?: With two goals (30, 31) Tuesday, Patrick Marleau(notes) became the fastest Sharks player to 30 goals in a season, besting the mark established by Jonathan Cheechoo(notes) in his Rocket Richard season.
Dishonorable Mention: The Caps and Lightning meet again in 2 ½ weeks and much will be made between now and then of the alledged dirty hit by Alex Ovechkin(notes) on Steve Downie(notes) (video below). The NHL might also have something to say about the Matt Bradley(notes) off-the-bench fight that denied us continuation of the Ovechkin-Downie unpleasantries. … The box score says shootout "miss," but Erik Christensen(notes) got the Rangers' shootout off to an ominous start by losing the puck on the way to the net. … Dallas has dropped eight straight on the road. … The Red Wings recorded a season-low 16 shots while getting blanked for the fifth time in 16 games. Detroit defenseman Derek Meech(notes) was a minus-5. … Seven goalies (Marty Turco(notes), Jimmy Howard(notes), Pascal Leclaire(notes), Michal Neuvirth(notes), Mike Smith(notes), Mathieu Garon(notes), Jeff Deslauriers) hit the showers early Tuesday. Smith's departure was injury-related.