Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Islanders win shootout against Devils, Brodeur

The SportsXchange

NEWARK, N.J. -- It was the same old story for the New Jersey Devils on Friday night, although the final chapter in the career of goaltender Martin Brodeur could still take place Sunday afternoon.

The New York Islanders went 3-for-3 in the shootout to emerge with a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in a battle between teams with no chance of reaching the postseason.

The Devils fell to 0-13 in shootouts this season and have lost an NHL-record 17 consecutive shootouts dating to last season.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer could only laugh as he took to the podium to answer questions after the loss.

"You don't want to ask and I have no answer," he said before anyone could raise a question about the shootout futility.

This could have been the 41-year-old Brodeur's final game with the Devils and perhaps of his career, but DeBoer all but tipped his hand on his starting goaltender for Sunday's season finale at home against the Boston Bruins.

"I'd like Marty to play on Sunday," DeBoer said. "But I haven't spoken with him about that."

Brodeur, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and has a .901 save percentage in 38 games this season, likely will not turn down the opportunity for one final start to potentially conclude his Hall of Fame career.

"I'd like to play, but we'll see what they say," said Brodeur, who holds the NHL record for career wins and shutouts. "It's their decision."

Brodeur played wonderfully, stopping 28 shots as the Devils were mostly outplayed by the Islanders in the final two periods. One of his best saves came in overtime, when Islanders center Brock Nelson had a breakaway that began deep in his own zone but ended with Brodeur turning aside a stick-side shot.

There was nothing Brodeur could do against Nelson, center Frans Nielsen and left winger Josh Bailey in the shootout. All three scored to give the Islanders road victories on consecutive nights.

Despite the loss of center and leading scorer John Tavares for the season during the Olympics, the Islanders are 8-3-2 in their past 13 games and closing strong.

"Certainly (it's) better than tumbling our way to the end," Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic said. "(We are trying) to gain some momentum (to end the season on)."

Center Anders Lee scored midway through the first period to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead, but the Devils answered with goals from left wingers Ryan Carter and Patrik Elias to take a 2-1 lead that lasted until early in the third period, when center Ryan Strome scored 19 seconds into the final period.

Goaltender Anders Nilsson was solid after the first period and made 25 saves in the victory. The Islanders could be looking for a goaltender via free agency this summer, but the rookie improved his record to 7-7-1 this season.

"It's an audition for everybody," Islanders left winger Matt Martin said. "It's a business where we can be moved."

That's also true of Brodeur, who has continuously left the door open for playing next season, be it in New Jersey or with another team. Fans were in full throat at times after Brodeur saves, especially the breakaway stop on Nelson in overtime.

Brodeur was not ready to reflect on his career, but he appreciated the support in his first game since he was pulled against the Florida Panthers on March 31.

"I made a couple good saves late in the game and you could see the energy in the building," Brodeur said. "This has been hard. I haven't been practicing a lot because of our scheduling. It took me a while to really feel comfortable in the nets today. I haven't played in two weeks.

"But when I started getting more shots, I felt a little more comfortable as the game went on."

NOTES: Islanders RW Justin Johnson made his NHL debut after he was called up to replace injured C Johan Sundstrom (head, neck). The 32-year-old Johnson is the 14th rookie to appear in a game for the Islanders this season. ... Devils RW Jaromir Jagr registered his 1,048th career assist, moving him to within one of Gordie Howe for eighth on the NHL list. Jagr has played 325 fewer career games than Howe. ... The Devils were without D Eric Gelinas (healthy scratch), D Bryce Salvador (lower body), C Adam Henrique (lower body) and LW Ryane Clowe (upper body).
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (0)