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Devils Host Bruins in Season Finale


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#1 westcoastdevfan

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 12:28 PM

Posted ImageThe New Jersey Devils (37-39-5) have one last chance to end the 2010-11 season on a positive when they face the Boston Bruins (46-24-1) at home Sunday night.

Following an ugly loss to the New York Rangers at MSG, New Jersey squares off against Boston for the fourth and final meeting of the season. The Bruins won the first three games outscoring the Devils 11-2 in winning each game by a large three-goal margin.

Besides missing the playoffs for the first time since Clinton was president, New Jersey will also finish with fewer points than games played for the first time since the 1990-91 season. Saturday’s embarrassing 5-2 loss to the rival New York Rangers also guarantees that goaltender Martin Brodeur (23-26-3) will have a losing record for the first time in his career.

Johan Hedberg is expected to get the start against the “B’s.”

Boston won on Saturday to move within a point of the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. If the Flyers and Penguins both lose in regulation in their final games, the Bruins could claim the second spot in the East if they take care of the Devils in game number 82.

Despite the playoff seeding implications, Bruins starting goalie Tim Thomas is not expected to play against the Devils, he will finish the season with a stingy .938 save percentage and set the NHL record. Dominik Hasek had owned the record since he finished with a save percentage of .937 in the 1998-99 as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.

Depending on how the Devils fair against Boston, they could finish as high as 23rd in the league standings. Right now they sit 6th in the pre-lottery draft order. The Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators hold the top five spots in that order. A win over the Bruins could drop them down to eighth in the draft order.

Also, this could be Devils Head Coach Jacques Lemaire’s last game. Lemaire hinted that he will make a decision on his future behind the bench after the game. It’s a long shot for him to return.

The Devils have called up Adam Henrique and Alexander Urbom from Albany of the AHL. Henrique becomes the 10th Devil to make his debut the season. That’s a new team record.

Injuries:
Devils: David Steckel (undisclosed) Jay Leach (undisclosed) Zach Parise (shut down) Dainius Zubrus (stinger) Colin White (leg) Anton Volchenkov (leg/knee) Matthew Corrente (hand) Matt Taormina (ankle) Bryce Salvador (post concussion)

Bruins: Marc Savard (post concussion)

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