Despite giving up eight goals in the first three games of the New Jersey Devils' first-round playoff series with the Florida Panthers, Martin Brodeur still had a few things up his sleeve, and a few more lessons to teach his former understudy.
While Scott Clemmensen gave a decent, if not stellar, account of himself in Game 4, the story of the night was the old warhorse looking to help keep his team alive one more time. Embracing the challenge, the 39-year-old Brodeur seemed to shake off the previous losses and his recent history of playoff failures to deliver a vintage performance, as the Devils coasted to a 4-0 victory behind Brodeur's shutout performance.
Active and aggressive all evening, the future Hall of Fame stopped all 26 shots from a Panthers offense that, despite the lack of Jason Garrison, challenged the Devils defense with no less than six power-play opportunities on the night.
Brodeur was equally vintage in his puck handling, making several impressive stretch passes and quick plays from the trapezoid to boost the New Jersey transition game, even collecting one assist on the night (his 11th career point in the postseason) and appearing to collect a second before the scoring was changed to credit Bryce Salvador instead.
The shutout victory not only tied the series at two for each club as the teams return to Florida for Game 5, but it gave Brodeur the NHL record with his 24th career playoff donut as chants of "MAR-TY, MAR-TY, MAR-TY!" rang down from the Prudential Center stands.
With their quarterfinal matchup now a best of three affair, the challenge for Brodeur and the Devils is to continue to play with this level of effort, and not allow the Southeast Division champions to regain their momentum back on home ice.