Both teams have been eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. New Jersey's faint hopes were dashed Wednesday when both the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets became the final Eastern Conference teams to secure playoff spots.
"You invest six months of work into a team and into a group and when you don't accomplish what you set out to accomplish it's tough, it's like the air getting let out of a balloon," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said after the team's morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre. "I don't have another description for it."
Three-time Stanley Cup champion Martin Brodeur was disappointed about New Jersey missing the playoffs for a second straight season after leading the Devils to the Final in 2012, where they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in six games.
"I didn't miss the playoffs once in 16 years, 17 years, when I started and now it's been three times out of four years so definitely it gets frustrating a little bit," Brodeur said. "You don't have many chances to win Stanley Cups at my age so you want to at least get into the dance, and now three out of four years we haven't done that here."
It remains to be seen when and if Brodeur will play his next game for New Jersey. DeBoer would not discuss his goalie plans for the Devils' final two home games, Friday against the New York Islanders, and Sunday against the Boston Bruins.
The 41-year-old Brodeur has made 37 starts this season compared to Schneider's 42 and counting. Brodeur, the NHL's all-time leader in goalie games played (1,257), wins (687) and shutouts (124), will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
"This organization means everything to me," Brodeur said. "I'm always going to be a Devil, regardless of what the future will bring me, and we'll see what the future brings. You know I've got a lot of things to take under consideration before I make a decision, so we'll see this summer."
Here are the probable Devils and Senators lineups: