The sure-fire Hall of Famers stole the show at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night, with Jagr moving past Mark Messier for seventh place on the NHL’s career goal list and Brodeur stopping 29 shots in the Devils‘ 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
“We talk to each other a lot about certain things,” Brodeur said. “I think we have a lot in common about what our careers brought us.
“It’s nice to relate to a guy. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do that here in New Jersey because we had so many young guys. It’s been fun to watch him play. It’s pretty impressive what he’s accomplished.”
Jagr tied the game at 17:23 of the first period with his first goal in 11 games and his 14th of the season. But more importantly, it was the 695th of a career that began in 1990 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The goal came days after he passed former Penguins teammate Mario Lemieux for seventh place in career points with 1,724.
“I didn’t expect that in somebody else’s building, but there’s a little history here for me,” said Brodeur, a Montreal native whose father, Denis, was once the Canadiens‘ team photographer. “It’s definitely nice of them to do that.”
Montreal had a 30-19 shot advantage, but the Devils scored more than two goals for the first time in six outings and the second time in their last 11. Brodeur and some tenacious third-period checking did the rest as New Jersey stretched its points streak to five games.
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien felt his team played with energy, but just couldn’t score.
“We competed,” Therrien said. “We set the tempo, but the story of the game was Marty Brodeur.
“He was phenomenal. We were the attacking team. We outshot them, but it was one of those nights when you run into a hot goaltender.”
The game was billed as possibly Brodeur’s last visit to the Bell Centre, but he’s not ready to concede that.