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Brodeur's start vs. Bruins could be last with Devils

by Mike Battaglino

BRUINS (54-18-9) at DEVILS (34-29-18)


Last 10: Boston 5-1-4; New Jersey 4-1-5

Season series: The Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils have split two games, with the Bruins holding a 7-6 lead in goals.

Big story: Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur may be playing his final game for the team he has been with since making his NHL debut March 26, 1992. That game was a win against the Bruins.

"Last game of the year; it's kind of nice to be able to get the start," Brodeur told the Devils website Saturday. "Go from there; try to get one good last game before we finish the season."

Team Scope:

Bruins: Boston wrapped up the Presidents' Trophy with a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. It is unknown who will travel to play this season finale.

"We've been pretty good in a lot of areas this year," coach Claude Julien told the Bruins website Saturday. "That's been a great regular season, but we've got one more game left and then we all know that what everybody calls the real season is right around the corner.

"I'm going to tell you that I'm really happy with the way we handled these 81 games, and hopefully these 82 by tomorrow."

Goalie Chad Johnson will start after Tuukka Rask made 24 saves Saturday.

The Bruins will play the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"The next step is, we've still got to do some work here in order to get the trophy that we all really want here," Julien said.

Devils: Brodeur's victory more than 22 years ago was the first of an NHL-record 687. He's had 18 this season playing behind Cory Schneider. This will be Brodeur's second straight start after not playing since March 31.

"[Coach Peter DeBoer] asked me if I wanted to play; I'll never ... say I won't play if I'm healthy enough," Brodeur said. "I'm happy to be in the nets tomorrow."

Brodeur is 378-183-69 (with ties) in 640 home games at Prudential Center and the Meadowlands. The 41-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent this summer and has said he wants to find a situation that will give him more playing time.

"[I'll] take everything in," Brodeur said. "Just go out there and try to do my best, enjoy playing the game, and have fun out there.

"It's kind of hard. I'm going to just go out and play like it's another game, hopefully knowing in the back of my mind it might be the last one I'm going to play here, anyway for a while. So we'll try and enjoy it as much as I can."

This also could be the last game for Jaromir Jagr with the Devils. The 42-year-old forward is a potential free agent.

"Definitely for me, just because we're close in age, that we relate a lot to different things," Brodeur said. "It was really interesting to spend a whole year with him. I really enjoyed it. I think it's a great example of what hockey should be all about."

Defenseman Eric Gelinas was reassigned to Albany of the American Hockey League.

Who's hot: Rask is 11-1-2 since March 2. Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron scored his 30th goal of the season Saturday, the second time he has had that many (2005-06). He scored 11 goals in his past 12 games. Forward David Krejci has six points in a four-game streak. Defenseman Zdeno Chara has four points in a three-game streak. Forward Brad Marchand has seven points in his past seven games. … Jagr enters with 705 NHL goals and with three would tie Mike Gartner for sixth place on the all-time list.

Injury report: Bergeron (undisclosed) did not play the third period Saturday. Forward Daniel Paille (undisclosed) was injured in the third period. Forward Chris Kelly (undisclosed) missed his second straight game. Defenseman Adam McQuaid (strained quad) is on injured reserve. … Devils forward Adam Henrique (groin), Jacob Josefson (foot) and Ryane Clowe (head), and defenseman Bryce Salvador (groin) are out.

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