TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Martin Brodeur turned an outstanding performance into another milestone.
“I just want to win,” Brodeur said. “Every year, I go in and I want to win 30 games. That’s my first goal. I’m happy that it happened so quickly. We’ll move forward now.”
Brodeur (30-13-4) also recorded his NHL-best ninth shutout this season and the 89th of his career.
“We played a good hockey game … couldn’t beat the goalie,” Lightning coach John Tortorella said.
Tampa Bay goalie Johan Holmqvist stopped 23 shots as the Lightning lost for just the second time in their last nine games.
Gionta put New Jersey ahead 1-0 with 50.5 seconds left in the first. He scored from just outside the crease off a pass from behind the net by Scott Gomez.
Pandolfo made it 2-0 with an empty-netter with 42.5 seconds left.
The Atlantic Division-leading Devils are 24-5-3 this season when scoring the first goal of the game.
“For me and for our defense to play tight, we have no choice,” Brodeur said. “We can’t let ourselves go. We don’t have that room for error. I think that’s the reason why we’re able to get so many (shutouts). If we want to win, we need to have them some nights.”
“He’s one of the best that ever played,” Lightning center Brad Richards said. “That’s why he’s considered that. He wins games like that. They can score one goal and sit back.”
Holmqvist kept the Lightning within one later in the second when he made a save on Pandolfo’s short-handed chance with 6 minutes left. The goalie also got a break when Patrik Elias’ shot from the left circle hit the post with 28 seconds remaining in the period.
Brodeur stopped Craig’s rebound attempt midway through the third when the Lightning applied strong pressure during a power play. He also made a glove save on Vinny Prospal’s rebound with 4 minutes left.
“To me, he’s the best goaltender in the game today,” Devils coach Claude Julien said. “And he doesn’t get satisfied with it. He keeps proving it year after year. He doesn’t sit on what he’s accomplaished. He wants to accomplish more.”
Patrick Roy holds the NHL record for most seasons of at least 30 wins with 13. He also has the second longest streak of consecutive 30-or-more win seasons by a goalie with eight. Tony Esposito is third with seven straight seasons. … Tampa Bay C Vincent Lecavalier had his 10-game point streak end. He had nine goals and 16 points during the stretch.