The Islanders were witnesses to history Saturday. Twice.
First they watched all-time great Jaromir Jagr score his 700th career goal. Then they watched as another all-time great, Martin Brodeur, stopped 18 shots as the Devils blew out the Islanders at the Coliseum, 6-1, in what could have been Brodeur's last game as a Devil.
Jagr's milestone was expected at some point. That it came Saturday is no big surprise, given that the former Ranger has scored 61 goals against the Islanders, his most against any franchise.
"Is it that many? I love this team," Jagr said. "It's my favorite team. That's a lot of goals."
Brodeur, who hadn't played since allowing six goals in a 7-3 loss to the Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26, could be traded before Wednesday's deadline. The 41-year-old said he hasn't decided if he will agree to be dealt, but he wants to play more than once a month.
"It's just a little different because my name has been swarming around a little bit," Brodeur said. "We have a couple of more days to go and we will see what the future will bring for me . . . I am happy I'm back playing. That's the bottom line. I play hockey to play hockey games. It's been a hard month.''
The Islanders, in their second game back from the Olympic break and without captain John Tavares, were coming off Thursday's overtime win against Toronto. They allowed four power-play goals to the Devils after killing 21 of 22 penalties in their previous eight games.
"The game went away from us pretty quickly," said goalie Evgeni Nabokov, who was pulled after two periods with the Islanders trailing 5-1. "We deflated after they scored two power-play goals. This is part of the business. You got knocked down, but you have to get up again and you have to do the job. When the penalty kill is good, the goalie makes the saves. Today that wasn't the case."
The Islanders trailed 1-0 after one period as Adam Henrique scored for the Devils on the power play at the 5:00 mark.
The Devils scored four times in a span of 8:07 in the second period. Nabokov allowed goals on five on the first 16 shots he faced.
Jagr scored off the skate of Islanders defenseman Brian Strait at 3:31 of the second period for his team-leading 19th goal and became the seventh player to reach the 700-goal mark. The Islanders acknowledged him on the video board and Brodeur also acknowledged the feat with a rare -- for him -- tap of the ice with his stick.
"I thought about it, like wow, I'm here," Brodeur said. "Especially playing for the Devils, we didn't get too many guys with these kinds of milestones. It took me a second, and I don't know if they had the camera on me, but I kind of tapped my stick, and I never do tap my stick for somebody's goal. But for that, it's a pretty impressive number."
Former Ranger Ryane Clowe scored at 4:40 to make it 3-0 before Kyle Okposo got the Islanders on the board at 6:14 with his team-best 25th goal.
But Marek Zidlicky and Mark Fayne potted two more goals for the Devils to make it 5-1 by the 14:54 mark. Eric Gelinas scored on the power play with 39 seconds left to complete the scoring.