You don't win 552 games without a little help, so maybe it was appropriate that Brodeur ran out of steam trying to cut down the net following Tuesday's 3-2 win over Chicago, leaving the task to teammates while taking a victory lap around the Prudential Center ice as the NHL's all-time leader in victories by a goalie. Moments earlier a slick pad save on a Troy Brouwer chance – Brodeur's 30th stop of the night – had ensured that fans who arrived as early as 7:45am to buy tickets did in fact witness a historic Devils win. The future Hall of Famer is now 8-1 since returning from November elbow surgery. For his efforts Brodeur got a snappy thank-you note from commissioner Gary Bettman and a paid night off Wednesday against Carolina.
Malkin had a shot at a hat trick and a career-best six-point night, but his third-period penalty shot missed high to the left. It was a rare misfire for Malkin and the Pens on a night they ended Atlanta's franchise-best six-game winning streak with a wasn't a slam-dunk to play and whose early turnover led to a 1-0 Thrashers lead.
The top sports headlines of the day
Elias made a little history of his own Tuesday, assisting on Brian Gionta's shorthanded goal to become the Devils' all-time leading scorer with 702 points. It took some nifty stickhandling and a beautiful backhand pass to finally break the tie with John MacLean. Earlier Elias had been robbed twice by Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. The Gionta goal held up as the game-winner.
Honorable mention: Gonchar had three points for Pittsburgh as the Pens went 3 of 7 on the power-play. … Kris Draper played his 1,000th game in a Detroit uniform and the Wings improved to 14-0-2 on home ice against the Flyers since 1988. … Caps goalie Jose Theodore made 19 saves for his 28th career shutout in a 3-0 win in Florida. … Shane Doan capped a four-point night by scoring with Rob Blake on his back in the waning seconds of the Coyotes' 4-3 win over the Sharks. Kyle Turris also had four points for Phoenix, which won despite blowing a 3-0 lead. … Vancouver set a franchise record with its 10th straight home win.
Dishonorable mention: The asterisk debate is yet another reason to dislike the shootout. … Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff expressed embarrassment at his team's 13-shot effort in a 4-2 loss in Ottawa. The Sabres managed one shot in the second period in losing to the Sens for the fifth time. … Florida failed to register a shot in the third period.