It was always going to pose a challenge for Devils coach Pete DeBoer. How much of the goaltending work should he give Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider?

"I'm definitely not married to an even split," DeBoer said. "If one of them gets on a roll, I'm definitely not opposed to running with him."

Brodeur was in the net Saturday night at Prudential Center and stopped 33 shots for his third shutout of the season as the Devils got two goals from Dainius Zubrus in a 3-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

That is exactly the level of goaltending DeBoer has been seeking.

“Sure. If we could get that every night, I’d take that,” the coach said with a laugh. “It’s exactly what we needed at the right time.”

The shutout was the 124th of Brodeur’s career and his 678th win. For the Devils, it was a victort they needed after losses in Columbus (Brodeur) and Pittsburgh (Schneider).

“It’s hard to put some wins together, some streaks together. We’re still pretty fortunate in the standings that our division is not doing well. But you just can’t count on that, hoping that everyone is going to lose,” Brodeur said.

“Hopefully it’s a start, but we’ve been saying that all year. We just have to rest up now. It’s the first time all year almost that we have the opportunity to spend time with our families, time at home without traveling. We still have two more games at home (next week), so we’ll take advantage of that. And practice, for a change, will be nice.”

Asked what either goalie has to do to grab the bulk of the work from this point on, DeBoer answered: "Just win games. That's what it comes down to. Both have played well and we've lost. I don't want to put all the onus on ‘win and you keep playing,’ because I don't think that's fair. But, at the end of the day, that's what we're looking for. If one of them can grab the ball here and string together some wins, we're not opposed to riding one of them."

Brodeur, who had lost five of his last six decisions, came up with some exceptional saves in raising his record to 9-8-2.