Brodeur Records 200th in Win Over Sabres|
By Ray Van Horn, Jr. Copyright 1999
A thrilling goalie duel at Marine Midland Arena saw the visiting New Jersey Devils edge the Buffalo Sabres 2-1, as Martin Brodeur collected his 200th career NHL victory.
The Sabres didn't make it easy on Brodeur. They tested him right off the bat in the first period, reeling off 9 shots (3 in the first 2.5 minutes for starters), and opening up 7 scoring chances. Brodeur was unflappable as his team managed to penetrate Buffalo's Dwayne Roloson.
In for a resting Dominik Hasek, Roloson likewise put in a stubborn effort (34 saves on the evening) for the Sabres, but was caught off guard in the first period as New Jersey's Lyle Odelein patiently set himself up, then launched a power play shot at 14:48 that was guided by Roloson's ankle. It was Odelein's 6th for the year.
The Sabres had a Jason Woolley goal stripped from them as the line judge ruled that teammate Vaclav Varada was in the crease at the time of the score. The crowd reacted angrily as the Devils carried a 1-0 lead well into the the second period.
Buffalo got on the board as Michael Peca and Miroslav Satan challenged a lone Devil defenseman on a 2 on 1 breakaway. Peca ripped off a shot, which was knocked down by Brodeur's glove. Satan was there to nudge the rebound into the net at 19:46, for his 38th of the season.
The flashy play was marred by an unsportsmanslike mass brawl at the period buzzer, which had been instigated by Buffalo's Paul Kruse.
The brisk play continued into the third period when New Jersey went up 2-1 at 2:33. The Sabres miscued by waiving off an icing call, which was promptly stolen and directed to Scott Neidermayer, who scored his 11th of the year.
Brodeur made 29 saves for his milestone 200th win, and his 38th for the year. In regards to Buffalo's tough play, he noted, "I thought they played really good. They pressed us in our zone."
As a team, the Devils picked up their 27th road win, tying them with 3 other teams for the NHL record. According to Brodeur, "We had to win on the road to be successful." New Jersey also ascends to the top seat in the Eastern Conference playoff lineup, bumping Ottawa down by a point.
Copyright©1999 The HockeyNut