As a New York Rangers fan growing up just outside New York, Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson had a fervent love-hate relationship with the New Jersey Devils.

That is, he had “the ultimate respect” for New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur, while loathing the Devils organization as one of the Rangers’ chief rivals. So what has happened in the past two games between the Blue Jackets and Devils has been quite surreal for Atkinson.

Last night, he scored the only shootout goal for either team, leading the Blue Jackets to a 2-1 win over the Devils before 16,592 at the Prudential Center.

Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis McElhinney stopped Jaromir Jagr, Ryane Clowe and Patrik Elias in the shootout before Atkinson took his turn.

Atkinson said he “went with his gut” when he made a series of moves and then shot the puck between Brodeur’s pads to end the game in the shootout’s third round.

“A legend. A Hall of Famer. MVP,” Atkinson said of Brodeur. “I grew up watching him. Believe it or not, he was probably my favorite goaltender growing up … besides (Rangers legend) Mike Richter, of course. It was pretty cool to get the game-winner against a guy like that. It’s so hard to score goals on him, so I’ll take it.”