Newark, New Jersey

Thursday, April 23rd - Friday, April 24th

Okay, so, shhhhh.....

We snuck back to Newark (and New York) for one more playoff game (just Jill and I). Playoff hockey is pretty addicting, and the Prudential Center in Newark has become our new, favorite rink!

We left early on Thursday morning, arriving in Newark just before lunch. Parked the car at the hotel, and then jumped the PATH into the city. Our destination this time around was SoHo and the village since we had pretty much 'done' a lot of the other neighborhoods in Manhattan on our previous two trips here this month.

After arriving at the World Trade Center station, we made a quick detour to FDNY's 10 House so that I could take some quick pics of the large bronze plaques that adorn the side of the station.

From there, we made our way up to SoHo. First stop, lunch at Gonzalez Y Gonzalez, which was located at 625 Broadway in SoHo. After lunch, we wandered around SoHo and hit some shops before jumping back on the subway and PATH train and returning to Newark for the Devs game that night!

As the article below will attest to, this was probably THE best playoff game we have ever seen in person, and probably one of the best games ever. Marty Brodeur was phenomenal! After the game, we headed back to the hotel to crash out. Home the next morning.

April 23rd
New Jersey Devils 3 - Carolina Hurricanes 2

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur followed an incredibly tough loss with an incredibly tough performance on Thursday night -- one that allowed him to reach another milestone.

Forty-eight hours after losing Game 4 on a goal scored with :00.2 seconds left in regulation, Brodeur stopped all 44 shots he faced as the New Jersey Devils took a 3-2 series lead with a pulsating 1-0 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 5 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal at the Prudential Center.

It was the 23rd postseason shutout of Brodeur's career, tying him with Patrick Roy for the most in Stanley Cup history. During the regular season, Brodeur surpassed Roy for the most wins (557) in League history. Brodeur has never faced more than 40 shots in any of his 101 career regular-season shutouts.

New Jersey has Carolina on the brink of elimination and can move on to the second round with a win in Game 6 at the RBC Center on Sunday. The Devils have No. 30 to thank for it.

"It's nice, but it's all about winning," Brodeur said of tying Roy. "Shutouts will happen when you play so many games in the playoffs. It's nice to accomplish. The atmosphere was unbelievable."

Nineteen of Brodeur's stops came in the second period, most of them after David Clarkson scored the game's lone goal, a power-play deflection past Cam Ward at 11:22. The Hurricanes outshot New Jersey 9-2 in the period following the goal.

But Brodeur was up to the task -- despite the fact that he cut his ankle in a collision with Carolina forward Chad LaRose late in the first period. The blade of LaRose's skate connected with Brodeur, but that couldn't prevent No. 30 from edging Ward in a goaltending duel for the ages.

"I think he just lost his footing," Brodeur said of LaRose. "His skate cut through my sock and cut my ankle a little bit. When you get cut by a skate, you don't know what's going on. When I saw it just got the surface, I felt more like a playoff-hockey player. It's kind of bruised up a little bit, but it feels alright."

That was music to coach Brent Sutter's ears.

"He took a skate in the back of the leg, but obviously he ended up being OK," Sutter said. "But at that point in time, you're kind of wondering what might have happened. But obviously, he was fine."

The Devils got the game's only goal by making the Hurricanes pay for a tripping call against Patrick Eaves, Defenseman Andy Greene -- who replaced the injured Bryce Salvador in the lineup -- fired a shot from the right point that Clarkson was able to redirect past a screened Ward for his second goal of the playoffs.

Ward was almost as sensational Brodeur -- he made 41 saves but went home with nothing more than the knowledge that he'd played about as well as he could.

"It was just a great game," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "It's difficult to take a loss at this point in the series, but you had great goaltending. We had over 70 shot attempts in that game. There was great goaltending because there was great offense on that ice tonight."

Carolina dominated the last minutes of the second period after Clarkson's goal, but failed to get a shot past Brodeur. The future Hall of Famer made several tremendous stops, including a glove save on a wrister by Eaves with 6:49 left. Brodeur also made two saves in the final 25 seconds of the period after Colin White went off for holding at 19:06, securing the Devils' one-goal lead after 40 minutes.

"I was tested a lot," Brodeur said. "A lot of crashing the net. It was vintage playoff hockey on both sides. For a 1-0 game, 80-something shots they saw a lot of chances and pretty good goaltending on both sides. There was no break."

Both goaltenders were dazzling in the third period. Brodeur managed to get his pad on a wrister by Staal from between the circles, and Ward followed about four minutes later with a gorgeous glove save on a slap shot from Zach Parise. Ward later denied Jay Pandolfo on a breakaway, only to be matched by a tremendous pad stop by Brodeur on a one-timer from point-blank range by LaRose with 4:21 remaining.

"He's been great in all the games we've played," Brodeur said of Ward. "Tonight was no different. He made the stops in the right time of the game. It took a tip for us to score a goal on him. The margin of error for our defensive squad was next to none for the way he played."

Brodeur kept the shutout intact when he gobbled up Ray Whitney's one-timer from the outside of the left circle with 18.9 seconds left. John Madden and Brendan Shanahan followed with great defensive plays to clear the puck out of the Devils' zone one final time.

All the Hurricanes could do was hope that a return to the RBC Center would give them a boost in Game 6.

"It was tough to swallow, but you win as a team and you lose as a team and it just didn't happen tonight," Ward said. "Who would have thought one goal would decide a game when there were 80-plus shots? Marty played well. He's one of the top goaltenders for a reason."

Trip Notes:

Stayed at the Hilton Newark Penn Station; $151.62 for the night.

Our seats for the Devils game were Section 13, Row 19, Seats 12-13.