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April 14, 2014

Brodeur wins what might be final start for Devils

(Continued)

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.

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