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Brodeur in goal for Devils, possibly for last time

by Mike G. Morreale

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur will make possibly his final start for the team against the New York Islanders at Prudential Center on Friday.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer wouldn't commit to a starter for Sunday against the Boston Bruins in the regular-season finale at Prudential Center, leaving open the question of whether this will be Brodeur's last game for the Devils. Brodeur can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

"Marty will start [Friday] like we have done all year and we'll talk about Sunday on Sunday," DeBoer said. "We'll talk about [the end of the season] at the end of the season. Those are all hypothetical questions. I'm not prematurely going to talk about the end of anyone's career right now. I'm worried about winning a game."

Martin Brodeur
Goalie - NJD
RECORD: 18-14-5
GAA: 2.54 | SVP: 0.900
Brodeur, who turns 42 on May 6, has been noncommittal about his future when asked about a possible return to the Devils in 2014-15.

"I don't expect [the Devils] to come running after me," Brodeur said earlier this week. "We'll see. Again, that's a situation I have to be OK with regardless of it it's here or somewhere else. But I have to talk to a lot of people in the offseason and make my own decision. Regardless of if I stay or leave, the Devils are in unbelievable hands with [Cory Schneider]."

This is Brodeur's first start since being pulled in the second period after allowing three goals on nine shots in a victory against the Florida Panthers on March 31.

"It was a pretty easy decision [to make]," DeBoer said. "I think we've done this all year where both guys have played. I think it's appropriate Marty plays here at home at the end of the season."

Brodeur holds NHL records for games played by a goalie (1,257), wins (687), shutouts (124) and minutes played (73,958) in 20 seasons, all with the Devils.

Schneider, who started the prior five games, has allowed two or fewer goals in seven straight starts. He ranks second in the League with a 1.97 goals-against average.

Brodeur, who is 1-0-1 in two games against the Islanders this season, is 18-14-5 with a 2.54 GAA and .900 save percentage in 37 games. Schneider is 16-15-12 with three shutouts and a .921 save percentage in 45 games.

The Devils close their League-high 22nd set of back-to-back games against the Islanders. The Devils are 10-6-5 in the second game. The Islanders, who had their first shutout ever against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, will close their 18th set of back-to-back games; they are 7-8-2 in the second game.

Goalie Anders Nilsson will start for the Islanders. In four games against the Devils, Nilsson is 2-1-0 with a 1.18 GAA and .960 save percentage. He will be making his third start in the past four games.

Forward Johan Sundstrom left the game against the Canadiens in the second period with a neck and head injury, according to coach Jack Capuano. The Islanders recalled the right wing Justin Johnson from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League on Friday. Capuano acknowledged that tests performed on Sundstrom while in a hospital in Montreal came back negative and he was returning home Friday night.

Johnson will make his NHL debut on Friday.

"Justin is going to get that opportunity tonight," Capuano said. "He's a gritty kid; he's a high-character guy and works extremely hard. He's earned everything and I'm sure he's going to be excited to get the opportunity to play."

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