Just a ho-hum game ripped from the annals of 1996.

Or so it seemed Sunday night at Prudential Center, where Jaromir Jagr and Martin Brodeur were two of the best players on the ice, joining forces to lead the Devils to a dominating 5-0 win over the Predators.
“It’s the way we like it,” Brodeur said. “Solid game, that’s the bottom line. That’s the way we need to play.”

Both Brodeur and Jagr are 41 years old, products of the first round of the 1990 draft, almost four years before Predators star defenseman Seth Jones was even born. Their careers have taken very different paths, Jagr’s a more circuitous route to this place, where Brodeur has been the franchise bedrock for two decades.

But somehow, in a league that has gotten immeasurably faster and stronger, the two of them still manage to stay relevant. Jagr, for one, didn’t take long to assert himself, scoring the first goal of the game just 1:30 in, a little looping move across the high slot and a cross-grain shot that was so clearly torn from his days in Pittsburgh it was surreal.

“I used to score a lot of goals like that,” Jagr joked. “But the goalies are getting better now.”
What that goal did was give Jagr 1,700 points for his career, just the eighth player in history to reach that mark and the first European to ever do so. When he added an assist on Travis Zajac’s pile-on goal that made it 4-0 midway through the third, he inched one closer to his friend and mentor Mario Lemieux, sitting just above him with 1,723.