Senators blank Rangers behind rookie Brodeur
Mike Brodeur is a distant relative of likely hall of famer Martin Brodeur. His shutout performance at Madison Square Garden was all in the family.
Hours after being called up from Binghamton of the AHL, Mike Brodeur outlasted New York's Henrik Lundqvist in the Ottawa Senators' 2-0 victory over the Rangers on Thursday night. Chris Campoli broke up the scoreless game with 1:14 remaining for the Senators, who snapped a five-game losing streak.
Just two days earlier, Martin Brodeur stopped 51 shots and was perfect in the four-round shootout as New Jersey topped New York 1-0. The New Jersey goalie is the NHL's career leader in shutouts with 107.
Mike Brodeur made 32 saves in his second NHL appearance to earn his second career victory. An injury to No. 1 goalie Pascal Leclaire, who was hit by a puck during Thursday's morning skate, and an illness to backup Brian Elliott forced the Senators to summon Brodeur to New York.
Following up on his 22-save effort in 4-1 win over Minnesota on Dec. 19, Brodeur is making a case that he belongs in the NHL. Brodeur, who has bounced around the minor leagues, including an ECHL stint last season, showed no signs of tiredness, despite going through a two-hour practice in the morning and a three-hour car ride.
"The coach pulled me off the ice and told me I was going to New York," said Brodeur, signed by Ottawa in July.
"I got here just before 4 o'clock. I slept in the backseat."
'We can't score'
Henrik Lundqvist also stopped 32 shots but was the hard-luck loser for the second straight game. He made 45 saves against the Devils on Tuesday and came out on the short end after Patrik Elias scored the only goal in the shootout. Lundqvist hadn't allowed a goal in a career-best 127 minutes 30 seconds, dating to the Rangers' 3-1 win at Boston on Saturday.
Now the shutout streak surrounding the Rangers is the one plaguing their offence. New York has gone 144:23 since its last goal on Saturday. This blanking ended a seven-game point streak (4-0-3).
"Four goals in four games is obviously not enough," said Lundqvist, who has allowed two goals or fewer in 16 of 19 games. "We're not going to win games if we can't score."
Ottawa, outscored 22-5 during its skid, got an empty-net goal from Chris Kelly in the closing seconds for its first win since Jan. 3. The Senators are an NHL-worst 4-12-1 on the road since Oct. 29.
Former Rangers forward Alex Kovalev sent a cross-zone pass down to Campoli, who squeezed a wrist shot from the bottom edge of the left circle inside the left post for the winning goal.
"We needed it," Campoli said. "If you don't get chances, you're not going to score.
"You keep fighting and working hard. Kovie made a great play to me."
The Senators got the jump on the Rangers in the first period, holding a 9-2 shots edge. Kovalev had the best scoring chance when he whacked the puck into Lundqvist's pads three times at the right point 4:46. That prompted New York coach John Tortorella to call timeout.
Ottawa was coming off a 6-1 loss at Atlanta on Tuesday.
"We know they were embarrassed [Tuesday]," Tortorella said. "We tried to guard against it, but I guess they weren't listening."
'A really good start'
Moments earlier, Zack Smith fired a shot off the post behind Lundqvist. Erik Karlsson also struck a post with a drive from just inside the blue-line with 6:51 remaining in the period. The Rangers picked up their play and closed to 15-10 in shots through 20 minutes.
"We got off to a really good start," Senators coach Cory Clouston said. "We really could have gotten frustrated.
"We had six or seven really good chances … hit a couple posts. Toward the end, we got a little bit nervous.
"Mike was outstanding. That was the biggest difference."
The second period featured much of the same, a quick start by Ottawa and a second-half surge by New York. Ottawa held the Rangers to one shot for a good chunk of the period, but it ended with the Senators outshooting them 12-10.
Marian Gaborik had New York's best scoring opportunity about six minutes into the second when a turnover by Ryan Shannon at the blue-line created a breakaway. Gaborik made a move but Brodeur knocked the puck away.
"We didn't have a good start at all," Gaborik said. "We had a better second period, but they were a step ahead of us everywhere."
Kelly tested Lundqvist with a quick shot that was met with a lightning-fast glove stab with 9:34 left in the second. At the other end, Brodeur made a juggling catch as New York's Vinny Prospal took a swipe at the puck in the air.
"The nerves weren't flying quite as high as they were last game when I came in," Brodeur said.