The Devils defeated the Dallas Stars, 5-0, because Marty Turco was atrocious. But it was Brodeur's night, because he exhibited the kind of confident cool that abandoned him the last time he and Sean Avery were on the same sheet of ice last postseason. Brodeur secured his 98th career shutout with some solid saves in the third period; he's five shutouts away from Terry Sawchuk's NHL record of 103 and eight wins away from Patrick Roy's record of 551. Avery had four shots in just over 15 minutes of ice time.
Seven goals scored in the first period. Antero Niittymaki gets chased. Patrick Marleau has a two goal, four point night; Danny Briere drives to the net and puts one past Evgeni Nabokov to send the game into overtime. It was an absolutely exhilarating and unpredictable game between the Sharks and the Philadelphia Flyers, so naturally it ended with beloved former Flyer Roenick with the game on his stick in the skills competition -- playing perhaps for the final time in the Philly. Later claiming that it was "pretty awesome," Roenick beat Marty Biron to the glove side, giving San Jose the 7-6 victory and keeping the home team winless for the season. Again, not like anyone was actually paying attention to this in Philly last night.
The Panthers spotted their backup keeper a 2-0 lead in the first period and limited the Ottawa Senators to just three shots. All Anderson did from that point on was stop 38 of 39 shots in the final two periods to preserve the 3-1 win for Florida on the road -- including 26 in the third. Anderson overcame a tough power play in the third and made some impressive stops on the Sens to earn the win.
Honorable mention: Gary Bettman put over hockey in Chicago in a big way last night, telling reporters that Chicago Blackhawks fans will get first crack at the majority of Winter Classic tickets and that the NHL Draft could be Chicago-bound in the near future. Meanwhile, Patrick Sharp (power-play) and Brent Seabrook (shorthanded) scored in the first period to lead the Blackhawks over the Edmonton Oilers, 3-0. Nikolai Khabibulin had the shutout. So when do they start trying to trade Huet? ... Speaking of which, Joel Quenneville was given a three-year deal by Chicago. ... John Madden had two goals for the Devils. ... Tomas Holmstrom scored his sixth goal of the season, and for his fourth straight game, in the Detroit Red Wings' 4-3 win over a pesky St. Louis Blues team.
Dishonorable mention: Hard to figure out what's more pathetic: Turco's three goals on 17 shots or the fact that only 12,101 fans showed up to watch the Stars in Newark? But unlike Devils attendance, a bad economy and decades of poor marketing aren't making Marty Turco look like a slice of Swiss. ... After roaring back with two goals in the third period, the Flyers blew a chance for a victory they could really build on against the Sharks. ... This quote from Oilers coach Craig MacTavish about goalie Dwayne Roloson and the team's loss to Chicago says it all: "He was great, nobody else was."