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EA to unveil NHL 14 cover athlete Friday

Friday, 06.28.2013 / 12:45 PM NHL.com

What started as a bracket featuring 60 of the National Hockey League's top players has come down to this. After weeks of voting, Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets are the last two players standing in EA's NHL 14 cover vote.

The winner and NHL 14 cover athlete will be named live Friday at 6 p.m. ET on TSN and EASports.com/NHL. Whoever wins the final vote will be the first goaltender to grace the cover of the game since John Vanbiesbrouck of the Florida Panthers made the cut for NHL 97.

Bobrovsky, who recently earned his first Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender, made it to the final round of the cover vote by defeating John Tavares of the New York Islanders in the semifinals. Brodeur, meanwhile, beat Pavel Datsyuk in the semifinals to qualify for the final round. Hockey fans voted for their favorites online as well as through Twitter.

While both finalists are goaltenders, they've followed very different paths to this moment. The 41-year-old Brodeur will go down as one of the greatest at his position in hockey history and is the all-time NHL leader in wins, saves and shutouts. Remarkably, he never has appeared on the cover of EA's popular NHL series before. Bobrovsky, 24, played primarily as a backup behind Ilya Bryzgalov with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011-12 before being traded to Columbus. In his lone season with the Blue Jackets, Bobrovsky came into his own, posting a 21-11-6 record with a .932 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average on his way to winning his first Vezina.

Last year's cover athlete was Claude Giroux of the Flyers, who beat out Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators in the final round of voting.

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