The way things are going, the record-tying victory could come in his native Montreal on Saturday.
Martin Brodeur's elbow injury might have postponed his chase toward history, but he finally attained goaltending immortality with a 3-2 victory over the Blackhawks on Tuesday. Now, only Terry Sawchuck's shutout mark remains.
NHL Goalie Victories 1. Martin Brodeur 553
2. Patrick Roy 551
3. Ed Belfour 484
4. Curtis Joseph 451
5. Terry Sawchuk 447
NHL Goaltender Shutouts
1. Terry Sawchuk 103 2. Martin Brodeur 101
3. George Hainsworth 94
4. Glenn Hall 84
5. Jacques Plante 82
Brodeur moved within two wins of tying Roy's record of 551 on Tuesday night, making 35 saves in the New Jersey Devils' 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.
"I think for people around me, they feel it's a great story," Brodeur said of having a chance to tie the mark at home. "It's still alive. I have a chance. One more game to go."
Brodeur would have to beat the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night to get a shot at the mark on Saturday.
Brodeur's performance against the Flames might have been his best since returning from elbow surgery earlier this month. At least, it was the most the four-time Vezina Trophy winner has been worked.
"The type of game as far as the quantity of shots and the power-play time we had to spend killing six or seven penalties, I think the playing and the feeling were a little different than the other ones," said Brodeur, who has won four of five starts since returning from a four-month hiatus.
Jamie Langenbrunner, Brian Rolston and Zach Parise scored and the Devils killed off six of seven power plays in helping Brodeur post victory No. 549. New Jersey tied the franchise record with its eighth straight home victory.
It was very different from the Devils' previous game, an embarrassing 7-3 loss to the New York Islanders. Brodeur was lifted in that contest.
"I was in certain situations where the puck hit me today, and Saturday it didn't," Brodeur said. "I worked hard yesterday in practice on a couple of little things, my balance. In Long Island my balance was not great and I worked on it."
• The Devils have scored 117 goals in their last 29 games (4.03 per game).
• The Flames made their first trip to New Jersey since Dec. 7, 2005.
• Calgary fell to 3-2-1 in its last six meetings with the Devils.
-- ESPN research
The win was the Devils' 10th in 13 games and it helped them avoid their first losing streak in more than two months.
Calgary newcomer Olli Jokinen's third goal in four games could not prevent the Flames from losing their third straight game. Curtis Glencross scored with less than a second to play for the final goal. It came on the Flames' final power play.
The Devils played an awful first period and fell behind when Jokinen tallied his 24th goal of the season on a nice cross-ice pass by Michael Cammalleri midway through the period.
Defenseman Dion Phaneuf came close to making it 2-0 early in the second period, but Brodeur pushed the slap shot from between the circles just wide of the net.
Brendan Shanahan of New Jersey was called for slashing seconds later, but the Devils took advantage of the Flames' power play. Colin White led a rush up ice, and Langenbrunner wristed a shot that seemed to get between goalie Miikka Kiprusoff's body and right arm for a short-handed goal.
Rolston gave the Devils the lead with a power-play goal with 1:59 left in the second. Shanahan took a shot from the left circle, and the puck deflected to the right side of the net where Rolston tapped it in for his 13th goal.
Parise stretched the lead to two goals early in the third after a wild scramble in the crease. Kiprusoff stopped Langenbrunner's initial shot but never controlled the puck. With the goaltender prone and a defenseman guarding the goal line, Parise managed to shove the puck under the goalie for his 39th.
The play was reviewed, but the goal stood. Curtis McElhinney then replaced Kiprusoff.
"This time of year you want to feel good and play better and better, night after night," Kiprusoff said. "We've had a couple of tough games. We have to try to learn from this and get stronger next game."
Brodeur drew chants of "Marty! Marty! Marty!" from the crowd when he slid across to stop Jamie Lundmark alone in front shortly after Parise's goal.
Kiprusoff was denied his 40th win of the season for the third straight game. ... Left winger Mike Rupp returned to the Devils lineup after sitting out five games and scored a takedown during a first-period fight with Andre Roy. ... Devils veteran left winger Jay Pandolfo was a healthy scratch after playing five in a row. ... Calgary center Brett Sutter, the nephew of Devils coach Brent Sutter, was a healthy scratch. ... Calgary is 0-for-14 on the power play during its three-game losing streak. ... The Flames are 2-3 on their seven-game road trip, with stops at Detroit and Toronto upcoming.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Prudential Center Location: Newark, New Jersey
Referees: Paul Devorski, Brian Pochmara Linesmen: Pierre Champoux, Greg Devorski
Attendance: 14,598 (82.8% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Olli Jokinen (24)
Assists: David Moss, Mike Cammalleri
Jamie Langenbrunner (22)
(Shorthanded) Assists: Colin White, Paul Martin
Brian Rolston (13)
(Power Play) Assists: Niclas Havelid, Brendan Shanahan