Martin Brodeur scores game’s first goal in return to action for Devils (VIDEO)

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When Zach Parise left New Jersey to return home to Minnesota, it left us all wondering how the Devils were going to replace his offence. David Clarkson? Ilya Kovalchuk? Oh, how about Martin Brodeur.

You think I'm kidding. I'm totally not kidding. In his first game back after missing a month with a back injury, Brodeur made an immediate impact, scoring the opening goal Thursday night in the Devils' tilt with the Carolina Hurricanes.

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Martin Brodeur now has one more goal than season than Alex Goligoski and Ryane Clowe, and you can understand why he might be compelled to score. After all, Teemu Selanne and Jaromir Jagr have been hogging all the 40-year-old love this season while Brodeur's been stuck on the sidelines with back issues. He's got a lot of ground to make up.

Granted, he didn't exactly go end-to-end, but still. As the last Devil to touch the puck when Jordan Staal's errant pass banked off the boards and into the Carolina goal, the tally went to Brodeur, whose incredible career numbers now include two regular-season NHL goals and three total in his career.

To make it even more amusing: while the Devils were about to be whistled for a penalty, they were on the powerplay at the time. That's right: Martin Brodeur scored a powerplay goal. The last goalie to do that: Evgeni Nobokov in 2002.

The score at the time of this writing: 1-0 New Jersey. We can only pray to the hockey gods that it stays that way.

It's interesting this goal came against the Carolina Hurricanes, especially since the last goalie goal in the NHL was also a product of these two teams. Cam Ward must have had some deja vu watching this pass from the press box.

After all, it was very similar to the goal he scored last season, when Ilya Kovalchuk blew a feed past Adam Henrique:

Ward wasn't the only one that found this painful to watch. Look how sad Staal made the poor young lady behind Kirk Muller:

Again, this the third goal of Marty's career. Let's take a quick look back at the other two:

Unlike the one above, Brodeur's first goal actually did come on a great shot, as he iced a playoff win versus the Montreal Canadiens on April 17, 1997:

Brodeur's second career goal -- and his first in the regular season -- came much the same way as his goal versus the Hurricanes. On February 15, Brodeur was credited for a goal against the Flyers after Daymond Langkow misplayed a puck on a delayed penalty call.

You can watch the incredibly fuzzy clip at 2:58 of this video:

But on March 21, 2013, Brodeur finally completed the hat trick.

The goal gives Brodeur sole possession of the record for most goals scored by an NHL goaltender. Ron Hextall is the only other goaltender to have scored more than one.

That said, it's possible Brodeur simply has the good fortune of having played two decades with the Devils, who are a factory for goalie goals. As Sean Leahy points out, 6 goalie goals in NHL history have involved the Devils. On top of Brodeur's three, they've also surrendered three to Damian Rhodes, Cam Ward and, back when they were the Colorado Rockies, Billy Smith.

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