NEWARK, N.J. — If this was the end for goaltender Martin Brodeur, he went out with a win.
The 41-year-old made 16 saves in what was very likely his final game as a New Jersey Devil, helping his team beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Sunday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd at Prudential Center.
Brodeur has said he would like to continue his career, even if it is with another franchise next season. Should he opt for retirement, he will conclude his career as the NHL’s all-time leader in victories (688) and shutouts (124) and a three-time Stanley Cup winner.
Defensemen Marek Zidlicky scored twice for the Devils (35-29-18) and gave Brodeur a wave after his third-period power-play goal put the Devils ahead 3-1. Center Travis Zajac scored the Devils’ other goal.
Left wing Loui Eriksson and center Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins (54-19-9), who rested many of their important players after clinching the Presidents’ Trophy on Saturday.
Goaltender Chad Johnson made 28 saves as starter Tuukka Rask watched from the bench.
Zidlicky scored at 7:12 of the first period with a wraparound goal that beat Johnson. Eriksson answered in the final minute with a power-play goal, finishing a pass from center Carl Soderberg that left Brodeur no chance to make a save.
After a scoreless second period, Zajac tipped a pass from right wing Jaromir Jagr at 3:52 of the third period to make it 2-1, and Zidlicky’s 12th goal of the season came less than three minutes later.
Marchand scored a power-play goal with 16 remaining in regulation.Notes: The Bruins rested many of their key players for the postseason. RW Jarome Iginla, LW Milan Lucic, LW Daniel Paille, C Chris Kelly, D Zdeno Chara, C Patrice Bergeron and C David Krejci were all given the afternoon off. ... The Devils were without C Adam Henrique (lower body), D Bryce Salvador (lower body) and LW Ryane Clowe (upper body). ... Devils G Cory Schneider finished the season as the only goalie this season to have a sub-2.00 GAA and better than .920 save percentage while starting more than half his team’s games.
Devils GM: DeBoer will be back
Pete DeBoer will be coaching the New Jersey Devils next season.
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello confirmed between the second and third periods of Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins that DeBoer will be back.
“I thought I’d get really out of character and put this to rest,” Lamoriello said. “Pete DeBoer is under contract for next year, has been under contract for next year, and will be coaching next year. That’s all of I have say. I won’t get into any other discussions,” he told the New York Post.
DeBoer had been linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs if Toronto fires Randy Carlye. DeBoer was vague about his situation Sunday morning saying he was unsure if he would be back next season.
NJ.com reported Sunday that the team and DeBoer already had agreed on a three-year contract.
DeBoer led the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, where they lost to the Los Angeles Kings.