Bruins Drop Finale
Newark, n.j. — Martin Brodeur made 16 saves in what might have been his last start in a 20-year career with the Devils and New Jersey beat Boston 3-2 on Sunday as the Bruins rested many of their stars in preparation for the playoffs this week.
The soon-to-be 42-year-old 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.
Defenseman Marek Zidlicky scored twice and Travis Zajac once for the Devils, who have now missed the playoffs two straight seasons after making the Stanley Cup finals in 2012.
Loui Eriksson scored for Boston, which rested eight starters, including Zdeno Chara and No. 1 goaltender Tuukka Rask.
While Brodeur didn’t have a lot of work against the Boston lineup that included four minor league callups — including former Dartmouth College standout Matt Lindblad — this was a lovefest 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.
At the end of the game, Brodeur staked to center ice and waved to the crowd as his teammates stood in front of the bench and tapped their sticks on the ice to honor him. As he was interviewed the sellout crowd chanted: “Thank You Marty! Thank You Marty!”
The Devils announced during the game that coach Pete DeBoer will return next season.
Boston will face the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs.
Notes: Brad Marchand, who scored Boston’s second goal, 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 Lindblad from the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League).
Red Wings 3, Blues 0
St. Louis — Backup goalie Petr Mrazek kept injury-riddled St. Louis down heading into the playoffs with his second career shutout in a victory for Detroit.
The Blues had been in contention for the No. 1 overall seed but lost their last six and missed a chance at taking the Central Division with Colorado clinching on a tiebreaker before playing at Anaheim Sunday night.
Lightning 1 Capitals 0 (so)
Washington — The Lightning wrapped up home-ice advantage for their first-round playoff series against Montreal by edging Washington in a shootout.
Hurricanes 6 Flyers 5 (so)
Philadelphia — Jordan Staal scored twice in regulation and had the only goal in the shootout to lead Carolina over Philadelphia.
Wayne Simmonds scored twice for the Flyers, who had already wrapped up third place in the Metropolitan Division.
Islanders 4 Sabres 3 (so)
Buffalo, n.y. — Brock Nelson scored with 3:44 left in regulation to force overtime and then netted the decisive shootout goal to lift New York over Buffalo in a season-ending matchup of non-playoff teams.
Senators 3 Penguins 2 (so)
Pittsburgh — Jason Spezza scored in the shootout to help Ottawa beat Pittsburgh and finish the season on a five-game winning streak.
Ducks 3, Avalanche 2 (ot)
Anaheim, Calif. — Nick Bonino scored 1:33 into overtime, and Anaheim finished the regular season with a victory over Colorado.