It was symbolic as Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy stood side-by-side, shaking hands, following the Devils' 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens tonight at Bell Centre.
The two legendary goaltenders are now on equal ground, together at the top of the NHL's all-time wins list after Brodeur equaled Roy tonight with his 551st win.
"I feel great," Brodeur said. "My first crack at it I was able to do it, so definitely I'm enjoying it."
Brodeur said he didn't think much about tying Roy during the game until Jamie Langenbrunner's goal with 7:03 left gave him a two-goal cushion.
"All game long, the game was so tight that it didn't really occur to me too much what was going on," he said. "I just wanted to stay in the game and when we score that third goal my mind started wondering a little bit. Oh this is happening. That was probably the toughest part of it. Definitely, being a close game helped me a little bit."
Brodeur pumped both his fists as the final siren sounded and was mobbed by his teammats. The sellout crowd of 21,273 gave him a long and loud standing ovation. Brodeur raised his stick to salute them and then headed off the ice as his teammates lined up on either side of him to form an aisle.
The fans gave Brodeur another loud ovation when he came back onto the ice when he was named the game's first star.
"That was pretty cool," Brodeur said. "It's pretty rare for a visiting team when you get that ovation from the fans. I know it's a little different because of the Montreal connection, but I think for them to recognize what I've done here was pretty cool. It was something I'll remember all of my life."
Brodeur will take his first shot at breaking Roy's record Tuesday night against Chicago at Prudential Center. Coincidentally, that's St. Patrick's day.
But, Brodeur said Montreal was the perfect setting for him to tie the record.
"This was definitely probably the best setting there was for me to tie Patrick's record in Montreal," Brodeur said. "The attention of the media, the people get a taste of it. Playing somewhere else -- I don't want to name a city because I don't want to offend anybody -- is a little different. Montreal is what hockey is all about and for me being from here and the French language and English all together was definitely a perfect day for me."
I'll have more later after I'm done writing my stories for the newspapers, including reactions from Roy, Devils coach Brent Sutter, Patrik Elias on tying John Maclean's points record and much more.