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Martin Brodeur has 44 saves as Devils shut out Hurricanes 1-0

Martin Brodeur gloves the puck during the second period. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Bill Kostroun)

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Martin Brodeur gloves the puck during the second period. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Bill Kostroun)

NEWARK, N.J. - Martin Brodeur overcame a bloody ankle and put the New Jersey Devils on the verge of eliminating the Carolina Hurricanes.

Brodeur played through a first-period skate cut and tied Patrick Roy's NHL record for playoff shutouts at 23, making 44 saves in New Jersey's 1-0 victory over the Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Brodeur was fortunate to escape a much more serious injury after colliding with Chad LaRose about 20 feet in front of the net going for a loose puck. LaRose's skate blade hit the back of Brodeur's ankle and caused a 4-inch cut.

Brodeur stayed in the game despite the pain and the blood.

"It cut right through my sock," Brodeur said. "It was more of a bruise. It's not like it sliced. It just hit me. At first I wasn't sure because I could see the blood. When you get cut by a skate, you don't know what's going on. I'm not that tough. I probably wouldn't have continued if I had to take stitches."

Schilling made bloody ankles famous during the 2004 playoffs against the Yankees when he pitched Game 6 of the ACLS with a bloody sock.

This stage wasn't as big, but Brodeur was just as good in getting even with the Hurricanes just 48 hours after losing Game 4 on a last-second goal by Jussi Jokinen on a play he felt he was the victim of goalie interference.

The anger Brodeur displayed after that game was rare, smashing his stick against the boards.

However, he was totally focused Thursday in giving New Jersey a 3-2 lead in the first-round series.

New Jersey can eliminate the Hurricanes on Sunday in Carolina. If a seventh game is necessary, it would be here Tuesday night.

"I think it was one of the good ones that I played," Brodeur said. "I felt really good. I was on top of it. Again, I'll have to erase everything tomorrow, but I am happy about it."

Cam Ward was almost as good, stopping 41 shots. David Clarkson provided the only goal with a rare power-play goal for New Jersey.

"There was a lot of opportunities both ways - shot for shot," Ward said. "Marty made the saves, now we've just got to find a way. We are down 3-2 here, our backs are against the wall and there is a must win on Sunday. We've got to be excited to come to the rink to play on Sunday. We can't be scared."

Jokinen came closest to scoring against Brodeur. His deflection in the second period, hit off the goal post, bounced off Brodeur's rear end and was on the goal-line when Brodeur got a glove on the puck.

LaRose had three outstanding chances, including two in the final period. He was stopped on a 1-on-1 with Brodeur after skating through the defence with 8:35 left and again in the slot with 4:21 to go.

Brodeur made his last save in the final minute, stopping Whitney on a slapshot.

When the game ended the crowd was shouting "Mar-tee! Mar-tee!"

"It's nice but it's all about winning," Brodeur said. "Playing with a great team, shutouts will happen when you play so many games. It's a lot more dramatic in the playoffs, there are second efforts everywhere. There are a lot of flukey goals. It makes it difficult to get shutouts."

Clarkson, who tied the game three-all Tuesday, scored at 11:22 of the second period with Patrick Eaves serving a tripping penalty.

Defenceman Andy Greene, who was in the lineup because Bryce Salvador suffered a knee injury Tuesday, took a shot from the right point that Clarkson deflected past Ward.

"My job was pretty easy there," Clarkson said. "I just stand in front of the net. Greeny had an unbelievable shot and I luckily got a stick on it.

The Devils were 1-of-19 on the power play in the series when Clarkson converted.

Ward kept Carolina in the game midway in the third period with a snapping glove save on a blast by Zach Parise.

"If you took all the video of all the chances for both teams and stopped it just short of the two guys standing in the pipes, you'd think that this would've been 7-6," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.

Notes: Canes LW Sergei Samsonov missed the game because of an undisclosed injury. D Anton Babchuk, who had four power-play goals in the regular season vs. the Devils was a healthy scratch. Dwight Helminen replaced Samsonov. Tim Conboy, who played in Game 1, took over for Babchuk. ... Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner missed his third straight game because of a lower-body injury. Salvador was out with a knee injury. ... The Canes were 0-for-5 on the power play and they are 1-for-19 in the series.

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