NHL Game Summary - Boston at New Jersey
(Sunday, April 10th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Boston 2
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Johan Hedberg stopped 24-of-26 shots as New Jersey downed Boston, 3-2, at the Prudential Center, in what proved to be Jacques Lemaire's final game behind the bench for the franchise.
Lemaire revealed his decision not to return next year at a post-game press conference. The 65-year-old Hall-of-Famer took over just prior to Christmas for John MacLean after the rookie bench boss led the club to a 9-22-2 record, finishing the season 29-17-3.
"I'm going back to where I was before," Lemaire said. "I want to enjoy my family. I still do think that I made the right decision last year, but I am really happy I took the job for the rest of the season. I had fun."
Alexander Urbom, Vladimir Zharkov and Patrik Elias tallied for the Devils (38-39-5), who won two of three to finish the regular season.
"We know what he did with this team in the second half, so it's disappointing," Elias said. "We obviously played good hockey under him."
Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly scored for the Bruins (46-25-11), who start the playoffs as the third seed in the East and will face perennial rival Montreal. The series begins Thursday at 7:00 p.m. (et) at TD Garden.
Tuukka Rask stopped 29 shots in defeat.
Zharkov moved in alone and beat Rask from the slot with a wrister at the four- minute mark of the third period to put the Devils ahead 2-1, then Urbom tallied his first career goal on a wraparound at 9:10.
Kelly tipped in a Dennis Seidenberg shot with less than four seconds left but it was too late for a comeback.
Elias tallied just 1:47 into the contest, converting a Brian Rolston feed at the right side, but Peverley responded on a rebound just after the midway point of the first period.
"We're going to close the book on the regular season and we've got a whole new season starting at the end of this week," said Bruins coach Claude Julien, who decided to rest captain Zdeno Chara and veteran forward Mark Recchi.
Boston still won three of four in the season series...Elias finished tops on the Devils with 62 points, and ranked second to Ilya Kovalchuk in goals with 21...Zharkov's goal was his first in 37 games with New Jersey...The Devils finished below .500 for the first time since going 32-33-15 in 1990-91 -- a season in which they made the playoffs under the old system of division, rather than conference, standings.
04/10 22:27:14 ET