Zeroing in on Sawchuk

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:11 AM ET

Goalies don't face each other in a true head-to-head manner.

But that doesn't mean they don't look down the ice, assess who's minding the twine at the other end and begin the mental battle to see who's best.

At least, that's Martin Brodeur's approach, and maybe that's why he continues to be one of the best of all time.

"It's a pride thing. You want to be the best -- you want to beat the best," Brodeur said while relishing a 1-0 overtime shutout over the Calgary Flames and their star netminder Miikka Kiprusoff. "Miikka, for my money, is one of the top three or four goalies in the league. I've always enjoyed watching him since he moved from San Jose to Calgary and the way he's been playing. He's a gamer.

"And he's not a typical butterfly goalie, so for me it's kinda nice to see a guy who plays a different style than most of the goalies play."

After last night's affair at the Saddledome, Brodeur can still lay claim to the title against Kiprusoff, who he's beat all three times over his career.

Brodeur stopped 30 shots, including 14 in the second period. He also earned his 95th career shutout, which moved him ahead of George Hainsworth into second spot behind the great Terry Sawchuk, who collected 103 for the all-time NHL record.

At least the milestone and the win came in an outstanding goalies' duel.

"That was a nice one," Brodeur said. "He had to make a couple of really good saves in the third to keep it at zero, and I had to do it throughout the game.

"It's always nice to play against the top guys. I think for the fans, I think everybody's looking at us thinking, 'These guys are going to be a great goalie challenge,' and, tonight, I think they got their money's worth."

"It's a good thing to have him behind us and give us a chance to win," said teammate Patrick Elias.


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