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Rangers Deny Brodeur's 500th Win

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils are shooting to top 500. Not just the goalie's next big milestone, but a better than break-even record. Brodeur was denied his 500th NHL victory Wednesday night for the second time as Jaromir Jagr and three Rangers rookies provided the offense in New York's 4-2 victory over the Devils.

``Right now we're a .500 team (7-9-2). Win one, lose one. It's not fun,'' Brodeur said. ``We had a great opportunity here with the Rangers in town to get over that hump. We just couldn't do it.''

The second-winningest goalie in NHL history is frustrated. New Jersey hasn't won three straight this season and has put together consecutive victories only twice through 18 games.

The Devils have dropped the first three matchups with the Rangers this season and sit one point ahead of last-place Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division, six points behind first-place Philadelphia.

``It's starting to get old isn't it?'' first-year coach Brent Sutter said of the Devils, who have alternated losses and wins the past five games. ``We didn't do enough here to win''

In other NHL games, it was: Columbus 4, Chicago 2; Tampa Bay 6, Carolina 1; San Jose 4, Dallas 3 in a shootout; and Edmonton 1, Vancouver 0 in a shootout.

Jamie Langenbrunner scored both Devils goals in his first game of the season following sports hernia surgery in September.

He gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead just 35 seconds in on the game's first shift. That didn't last long as Nigel Dawes tied it 50 seconds later.

Fellow rookie Brandon Dubinsky put New York in front in the second period, Jagr netted his fourth goal _ first on the power play _ with 33.4 seconds left in the frame, and defenseman Marc Staal recorded his first in the NHL to make it 4-1 in the third.

``They are the future of our team,'' Rangers coach Tom Renney said of the rookies. ``They have to contribute. That's why they're here.''

Scott Gomez withstood the boos he heard every time he touched the puck in his first game back in New Jersey since leaving the Devils for the Rangers as a free agent this past summer and posted two assists.

He has a seven-game point streak, which has coincided with the turnaround of New York's season. The Rangers are 2-0 halfway through their four-game road trip and have won seven of eight while allowing just 11 goals.

Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves to earn his first road win of the season (1-5-1), and should be back in goal Thursday when the Rangers face first-place Philadelphia. He was sharp following his first day off Saturday after playing the first 16 games.

He got the best of Brodeur for the third time this season.

``It feels good,'' Lundqvist said. ``It's great for him to reach that (milestone), but not tonight. It was our win. We played a really good road game.''

Now the Rangers (10-7-1) trail the Flyers by one point in the Atlantic Division.

Brodeur was 9-0-1 with a 1.18 goals-against average in the 10 previous home games against the Rangers, all at the Meadowlands.

``He had so many good games against us,'' Jagr said. ``He loves to play against the Rangers. It's nice to get him back a little bit.

``I respect him so much. It's not easy to stay on top of your game for so many years.''

Brodeur is stuck at 499 wins, second only to league record-holder Patrick Roy, who retired with 551. After making 20 saves, he will have to wait until at least Friday to get the milestone victory when the Devils face the New York Islanders.

New Jersey lost on Long Island last Saturday during Brodeur's first shot at 500, and the 35-year-old netminder sat out Monday at Pittsburgh.

``I just want to win,'' Brodeur said. ``There's an emphasis that everyone puts on it, not me. I don't prepare differently.''

Lightning 6, Hurricanes 1

Vincent Lecavalier had three goals and two assists to set a team record with his sixth consecutive multipoint game, leading host Tampa Bay to the win.

Lecavalier scored twice and assisted on goals by Paul Ranger and Martin St. Louis during a five-goal second period that put the Lightning ahead 5-0. The center, who has five goals and 11 points over his past six games, completed the hat trick with a short-handed breakaway goal with 5:09 remaining in the third.

Johan Holmqvist made 28 saves for the Lightning, who have won four in a row after a six-game skid. Tampa Bay also got a goal from Vinny Prospal.

Jeff Hamilton scored for Carolina, which has lost just twice _ both to Tampa Bay _ in its last six games.

Sharks 4, Stars 3, SO

Rookie Devin Setoguchi and Patrick Marleau connected in the shootout after scoring regulation goals, and visiting San Jose beat the Stars in their first game since a front office shake-up.

Brenden Morrow and Niklas Hagman scored to rally Dallas from a two-goal third-period deficit and send the game to overtime, but the Stars lost their fourth in a row at home. Jere Lehtinen also scored for Dallas.

Oilers 1, Canucks 0, SO

Ales Hemsky scored the only goal in a shootout and Mathieu Garon made 29 saves through overtime and stopped all three shots in the shootout for visiting Edmonton.

Roberto Luongo made 19 saves in regulation and overtime for the Canucks, who had a season-high three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 2-7 at home this season.

Blue Jackets 4, Blackhawks 2

Rick Nash, Sergei Fedorov and Jason Chimera each had a goal and an assist, and host Columbus snapped a four-game skid. Dan Fritsche also scored and Pascal Leclaire (8-4) made 16 saves for the Blue Jackets.

Defensemen Duncan Keith and Dustin Byfuglien scored for the Blackhawks, who had won three straight and five of six.
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