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On This Date in Sports December 21, 2009: Another Marty Milestone

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Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils continues to etch his name in the NHL record books. Nine months after becoming the winningest goalie in NHL history, Brodeur sets the record for most career shutouts. Martin Brodeur records his 104th career shutout as the Devils blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. The previous record of 103 shutouts was held by Terry Sawchuck; Martin Brodeur would finish his career with 125 shutouts. 

Martin Brodeur, the longtime goalie for the New Jersey Devils. Born on May 6, 1972, in Montreal, Martin Brodeur followed in the footsteps of his father Denis has won a Bronze Medal for Canada at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. The elder Brodeur later became a team photographer for the Montreal Canadiens, leaving young Martin to have access to the team and learn how to play goalie from many resources, including his favorite player Patrick Roy.

Martin Brodeur continued to be a student of the art of goaltending while playing in the QMJHL for the Saint-Hyacinthe Laser. There he attended a camp held by Soviet Legend Vladislav Tretiak. Martin Brodeur would be drafted 20th overall in the 1990 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils. Two years later, he made his debut, earning his first win as the Devils beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 at the Meadowlands on Mach 26, 1992.

After spending the entire 1992/92 season in the minors, Martin Brodeur made it up to the NHL to stay in 1993/94 and became one of the top goalies in the NHL right away. In his first full season, Brodeur led the Devils to the Eastern Conference Finals while winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. A year later, he helped the Devils win their first Stanley Cup. Brodeur, who began his early days on the ice as a forward, had a unique gift for handling the puck. So much so that the NHL created a trapezoid behind the net to limit a goalie’s ability to move the puck.

Martin Brodeur and the Devils added two Stanley Cups in 2000 and 2003. That year also saw Brodeur win his first Vezina Trophy as the best goalie in the NHL. He would win four Vezina’s in the next five seasons, leading into the 2008/09 season. That year was expected to be filled with milestones for Martin Brodeur, who moved up the NHL’s leaderboard in all the major goaltending categories. 

Martin Brodeur set the record for career wins on March 17, 2009, with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the Prudential Center in Newark. It was the 551st win of his career, breaking the record held by Patrick Roy. When the 2009/10 season began, Brodeur had 101 shutouts, two away from the record held by Terry Sawchuck. After an early-season shutout of the Carolina Hurricanes, Martine Brodeur tied the record with a 3-0 blanking of the Buffalo Sabres on December 7th.

Coached by Jacques Lemaire, the Devils were off to a strong start at 25-8-1while; the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins held a record of 25-10-1. Bryce Salvador gave New Jersey a lead with a goal at 4:39 of the first period. Niclas Bergfors would net a power-play goal 23 seconds into the second period. The Devils added goals Patrik Elias and Mark Fraser to lead 4-0 at the end of two periods as Marc Andre Fleury was rested for the third period for Brent Johnson.