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04/13/2014 7:31 PM EDT
Brodeur wins what might be final start for Devils
NEW JERSEY 3, BOSTON 2

By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Standing on the podium after what might have
been his final game of his record-setting, 20-year career with
the New Jersey Devils, Martin Brodeur's eyes welled with tears
when he was asked to explain his emotions.

Just 15 minutes earlier, after a season-ending 3-2 win over
Boston on Sunday, the soon-to be 42-year goalie stood at center
ice and gave a stick salute to the crowd as his teammates stood
in front of the bench and tapped their sticks to honor him.

As he was interviewed the sellout crowd chanted: "Thank You
Marty! Thank You Marty!"

"It was a little emotional," said Brodeur, the NHL's career
leader in wins (688) and shutouts (124). "I have spent my life
here. All the fans out there know me. They think they know me by
my name, and I feel they know me.

"They have been calling my name for 20 years. Every time they
stop me and talk to me, they are great. It's a relationship that
an athlete has with people. It was definitely fun, but it was
emotional."

Brodeur is in the final year of his contract and is likely to
test the free-agent market now that he has become the backup to
Cory Schneider. He clearly indicated he wants more playing time
after going 19-14-6 in 39 games.

It is clear that the 28-year-old Schneider is the Devils' goalie
of the future.

"It's not out of the question that the Devils will be in the
running for me to come back," Brodeur said. "I haven't talked to
Lou (Lamoriello) about what he wants to do with backing up
"Schneids," Brodeur said. "Again, if I am mentally ready to do
that job, I am going to look for the Devils a little bit.

"Right now I'm keeping everything open. We'll see what he feels
is the best for the organization. It's not about me anymore. I'm
free. He's not stuck with me anymore."

Brodeur made 16 saves against the Bruins, who rested many of
their stars in preparation for the playoffs. Loui Eriksson and
Brad Marchand scored for Boston.

Travis Zajac, who put the Devils ahead 2-1 early in the third
period, said the Devils' goal was to send Brodeur out a winner.

"It just seemed like the right ending for everything he has done
for this organization," Zajac said after the Devils missed the
playoffs for the second straight season after making the finals
in 2012. "Whatever happens, it just seemed right to get him that
win."

Defenseman Marek Zidlicky scored twice for New Jersey and
Jaromir Jagr earned two assists, giving him 1,050 and moving him
past Gordie Howe for eighth on the NHL career list.

"He did something that no one is ever going to do again," Jagr
said of Brodeur. "I would say it's comparable to Wayne Gretzky's
numbers."

Boston rested eight starters, including Zdeno Chara and No. 1
goalie Tuukka Rask.

"We had a real tough opponent, and for the most part I thought
we handled it OK," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "For us it
was just about playing a solid game."

While Brodeur didn't have a lot of work against the Boston
lineup that included four players called up from the club's
Providence AHL affiliate, this was a love fest for the player
who led the Devils to three Stanley Cup titles and five
appearances in the championship round.

He was cheered from the opening introductions, and every save
brought chants of "Marty! Marty!" Toward the end, the crowd just
chanted his name.

Zajac broke a 1-all tie at 3:52 of the final period. He got
inside position on Matt Bartkowski in front of goalie Chad
Johnson and redirected a pass from Jagr into the net.

Zidlicky stretched the lead to two with a power-play goal that
Jagr also helped set up.

Boston managed to take some of the enjoyment out of the closing
seconds when Marchand scored a power-play goal to make it a
one-goal game.

"If this is his last game, it is (cool) to have scored,"
Marchand said. "I should have (grabbed) the puck."

The Devils outshot the undermanned Bruins 24-9 in the first two
periods, but the score was tied 1-1.

Zidlicky gave New Jersey the lead 7:12 into the game. The
defenseman joined a rush late and took a pass from Zajac
entering the Bruins' zone.

He skated down the right side, went around the net and beat
Johnson with a wraparound inside the post for his 11th goal.

Boston only had five shots in the period but the last one tied
it on a power play. Marchand sent a pass from the right circle
to Carl Soderberg in the opposite circle. He quickly found
Eriksson with a pass at the right corner of the net for a slam
dunk.

The Devils announced during the game that coach Pete DeBoer will
return next season.

NOTES: Marchand played in his 300th game with the Bruins. ...
The Bruins, the Presidents' Trophy winner for the best
regular-season record also rested Jarome Iginla, Patrice
Bergeron, Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Daniel Paille and Chris
Kelly. They recalled forwards Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek,
Alexander Khokhlachev, and Matt Lindblad from Providence.

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