MONTREAL (AP) – Martin Brodeur was welcomed home by Montreal and by Patrick Roy, the goalie he caught in the NHL record book.

Brodeur tied Roy’s career regular-season mark of 551 wins when the New Jersey netminder led the Devils to a 3-1 victory over the hometown Canadiens on Saturday night.

Under the watchful eye of his father, former Canadiens team photographer Denis Brodeur, who looked on and took pictures from a front-row seat, Brodeur matched the former Montreal goalie he idolized as a child.

Roy, who watched the game from a suite, established the mark during a Hall of Fame career with Montreal and Colorado in which he won the Stanley Cup four times.

“When you do these kinds of things sometimes you don’t have a chance to meet the person,” Brodeur said. “I got to know the guy, I played with him, I played against him, we had great battles, he took a Stanley Cup away from me … it showed a lot of class. I really appreciated it.”

The sold-out crowd of 21,273 chanted the name of Montreal’s native son when time ran out, and Brodeur’s father wiped away a tear.

“To look around and see the guys reacting … I finally did it,” Brodeur said. “The only one I knew where he was sitting was my dad. He had a pretty good seat.”

Brodeur was as steady as ever in making 22 saves. He has earned seven wins in eight straight starts after a 50-game absence caused by the first serious injury of his career.

The two goalies posed for photographers after Brodeur’s postgame news conference.

“I’m happy to be here tonight and see it happen,” said Roy, whose recently retired No. 33 banner hung over Brodeur during the second period. “Nothing against Montreal – I know Montreal is in the middle of a big race – but I think it’s a great moment in the game and I’m sure Marty is very excited to see it happen in his hometown in front of his family.”

Brodeur will get his first chance to set the mark Tuesday night at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Accomplishments like this don’t come around every day and when you talk about history and the game it’s a pretty phenomenal thing,” Devils coach Brent Sutter said. “Patrick Roy was an outstanding, phenomenal goaltender and I know that firsthand from playing against him.”

Surrounded by his teammates after the final siren, Brodeur did a double fist pump and raised his stick to the crowd in appreciation after his 986th regular-season NHL game.

“The recognition from the fans was tremendous and something I will never forget,” he said.

Back in 1986, Brodeur cheered Roy at the Canadiens’ Stanley Cup parade along St. Catherine St. Roy returned the favor Saturday morning by going to see Brodeur.

“He visited me at the hotel before I came over here and he wished me good luck,” Brodeur said Saturday morning. “That was really nice of him.”

Patrik Elias had a goal and assist to tie John MacLean’s franchise record of 701 points, and Brian Rolston netted his 300th goal as both New Jersey veterans scored with the man advantage in the first.

“You can’t forget this one,” Rolston said. “It was an exciting game for Marty obviously to come home and I was just happy that I was a part of it, too. You know, getting the game-winner on my 300th, I feel good about that and happy with the way we’re playing as a team.”

Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner restored New Jersey’s two-goal lead in the third.

“When we scored the third goal, I thought, ‘All right. This could be it,”‘ Brodeur said.

Tomas Plekanec scored his 20th goal at 12:29 of the first, the only puck that got past Brodeur. That took away any chance of a shutout. Brodeur has 100 of those, only three behind Terry Sawchuk’s career NHL mark of 103.

Elias recorded his 700th career point with his 28th goal on a two-man advantage 5:27 in. Rolston made it 2-0 at 11:08.

“We’ve just got to applaud the crowd here tonight,” said Langenbrunner, who scored his 23rd 12:57 into the third. “Amazing, and what a show of respect.”

Jaroslav Halak stopped 45 shots for the Canadiens, 1-1-1 in three games since general manager Bob Gainey took over behind the bench after firing head coach Guy Carbonneau on Monday.

“To stay with our competition, we’ll need to pick up more than three points next week,” Gainey said.

Patrice Brisebois appeared in his 1,000th regular season game after he was a healthy scratch for Montreal’s four previous games. He shook hands with Brodeur on the ice at the end of the game.

“You know Marty’s a really good friend, and I wanted to go personally and congratulate him,” said Brisebois, a teammate of Roy’s on Montreal’s last Stanley Cup team in 1993. “He deserves that record, he’s a great athlete and a great guy. It’s awesome for him.”

The 36-year-old Brodeur improved to 13-3-2 this season.

He has been virtually unstoppable since returning from the first serious injury of his 15-year career, a torn biceps in his left arm that was surgically repaired in November.

He missed 50 games because of the injury, after sitting out only 12 games during his previous 14 seasons, and hasn’t skipped a start since his return.

Brodeur is a four-time winner of the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie and he has captured the Stanley Cup three times with the Devils. One time the title got away was in 2001 when the Devils lost Game 7 of the finals to Roy and the Colorado Avalanche.

He won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 1994 and backstopped New Jersey’s championship teams in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

Notes: Drafted 20th overall by New Jersey in 1990, Brodeur won his first NHL game on March 26, 1992, a 24-save effort in a 4-2 win over Boston. He has 293 losses, 105 ties and 22 overtime-shootout losses. … Roy was 551-315-131 in an NHL-record 1,029 regular-season games with Montreal and Colorado. … Brisebois has appeared in 887 games in two stints with Montreal. He played 113 games with Colorado from 2005-07. … The Canadiens wore white retro jerseys honoring the 1945-46 Stanley Cup champions.

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