Just getting a start Friday night will give Martin Brodeur sole possession of another NHL record. However, he may have another milestone in mind as he attempts to help the red-hot New Jersey Devils beat the Ottawa Senators for a ninth consecutive time.
Brodeur tied Patrick Roy's NHL record for regular season games played by a goaltender at 1,029 on Wednesday, making 17 saves in a 2-1 win over Montreal to give the Devils (23-8-1) a sixth victory in seven games. He also extended his career wins record to 578.
"It's durability," Brodeur said of his latest milestone. "That's what playing a lot of games is. It's being durable, and it's being successful, because if you're not, the coach doesn't put you in there."
Brodeur has played in all but two games this season and has started 11 in a row, going 9-2-0 with a 1.89 goals-against average. That stretch also includes him tying Terry Sawchuk for the NHL record of 103 shutouts.
Brodeur, who has a league-high 21 wins and is among the leaders with a 2.10 GAA, will likely get a fifth chance to take sole ownership of the shutout record Friday. He has six shutouts against the Senators (17-12-4) but none during a personal five-game winning streak.
Brodeur has beaten Ottawa twice this season, making 24 saves in a 3-1 win at the Prudential Center on Nov. 25 as the Devils ran their series winning streak to eight. They haven't lost to the Senators since opening their arena in Newark with a 4-1 defeat Oct. 27, 2007.
Injury-plagued Ottawa will try to snap that skid and win for the fourth time in five games.
With the injuries mounting, Brian Elliott came up big again Wednesday, making 22 saves in a 2-0 win over Northeast Division-leading Buffalo.
"Obviously you go into every game wanting to stop every puck," Elliott said. "I was able to make all the saves I should and maybe a couple I shouldn't."
Elliott has been outstanding over the last four games, going 3-1-0 with a 1.26 GAA and two shutouts. He'll likely be in net for a 14th consecutive game in place of Leclaire.
Elliott has lost both of his starts against the Devils with a 3.01 GAA.
"It doesn't matter how we win as long as we're finding ways and playing good defensively," center Mike Fisher said. "We just need to stick to our good team game."
Fisher is enjoying a solid stretch with three goals and two assists over the last five games. He's tied with left wing Milan Michalek with a team-high 15 goals, while his 28 points are second to Daniel Alfredsson's 30.
Fisher hasn't registered a point in his last seven games against New Jersey.