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Devils make it four in a row with win over Flyers

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The resurgent New Jersey Devils got
a vintage performance from Martin Brodeur to run their winning
streak to four games.

Brodeur stopped 22 shots for his 77th career shutout and the
Devils scored two power-play goals in a 3-0 victory over the
Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night.

Brodeur, in his 13th season with New Jersey, broke a tie with
former Chicago star Tony Esposito for seventh place on the NHL's
career shutout list and moved two ahead of Toronto's Ed Belfour for
first place among active goalies.

Brodeur, who beat Florida 3-0 on Jan. 3 for his only other
shutout of the season, helped the Devils win their fourth straight
game, their longest winning streak of the season. Before the
streak, the Devils had lost 11 of 14 games.

"It was vintage Devils hockey," said center Scott Gomez, who
scored the game's final goal in the third period. "Four lines were
playing great, Marty was seeing the puck and special teams were
right there."

New Jersey improved to 6-5 since president and general manager
Lou Lamoriello stepped behind the bench as interim coach following
Larry Robinson's resignation.

Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner scored power-play goals for
New Jersey, which entered the game ranked 26th in the NHL in power
play efficiency.

The win moved into New Jersey (20-18-5) into a tie for eighth
place in the Eastern Conference playoff race with Tampa Bay.

The Flyers had their best chances in the first period when Mike
Richards hit the post with Brodeur on the ice, and Branko
Radivojevic missed high on an unobstructed shot from 5 feet in
front of the goal.

After that, the Devils, playing like they did when they used to
dominate the Flyers earlier in Brodeur's career, clamped down on
Philadelphia (27-9-6), which had earned at least a point in 17 of
its last 19 games and had not lost in regulation since falling to
Vancouver on Dec. 15.

"When you play a team like this, it's the first team to crack,
and it was us tonight," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Once
they got the lead, they were able to sit on it. I don't think we
played with the emotional level that we have at times. A lot of
that is New Jersey. They play a very methodical game and they take
the emotion out of it."

Brodeur has struggled along with the rest of the Devils this
season as they have dealt with the retirement of defenseman Scott
Stevens and the trade of defenseman Scott Niedermayer. Brodeur's
goals-against average before Monday was 2.86, significantly above
his career mark of 2.20.

Against a familiar foe, the old form returned.

"In the old days we used to be like that, but it's been
different for us, definitely," Brodeur said. "We had a whole day
off (Sunday) and only saw each other for about 45 minutes this
morning. But I think everybody deep down knew that it was the
Flyers coming in and we needed our 'A' game."

The Devils got another boost from Patrik Elias, who assisted on
the goals by Parise and Gomez to give him at least one point in all
four games since his return from hepatitis.

Late in the first period, Elias gained control at the
Philadelphia blue line and flipped the puck to Brian Gionta in the
middle of the zone. The speedy winger skated in alone on Antero
Nittymaki and had his initial shot stopped, but chased the puck
down behind the goal. His pass found Parise in front and the rookie
one-timed it in at 14:47.

With Donald Brashear off for holding midway through the second
period, Brian Rafalski passed to Langenbrunner at the left circle,
and his slap shot beat Nittymaki.

Gomez added his 17th goal of the season midway through the third
period, taking a pass from Elias in transition and flipping a wrist
shot past Nittymaki.
^Notes:@ Parise's goal broke an eight-game goal drought. It was his
second goal in his last 17 games ... The Flyers have been held to
fewer than 20 shots just once this season. ... Terry Sawchuk is the
NHL career leader with 103 shutouts.