Martin Brodeur has started 183 postseason games.
But after he was pulled just 22:18 into Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss, there was some doubt as to whether he’d start Game 4. In fact, the Devils goaltender didn’t even know himself.
“Oh, yeah,” Brodeur, who gave up three goals on 12 shots, replied when asked if he thought he’d be back between the pipes on Thursday night. “But I’m not sure.”
Devils coach Peter DeBoer put those doubts to rest, however, when he announced that Brodeur would be his netminder for Game 4 during his postgame press conference.
“Not really a decision. That’s an easy one. This is a guy who has carried us the entire second half of the season and been fantastic,” DeBoer said Thursday morning. “So there really wasn’t a thought in that. I knew that as soon as I pulled him.”
In three starts against the Panthers, Brodeur is 1-2 with a 3.41 GAA and a .869 SV PCT.
• The Devils will not make any lineup changes in Game 4, DeBoer confirmed.
That means Anton Volchenkov is still in, while rookie Adam Larsson remains out.
Volchenkov has been out on the ice for nine of Florida’s 10 goals in the series.
“You look at the situation and he’s had some bad luck and some bad timing,” DeBoer said. “He’s been on for nine of the 10 goals, but he’s had personal responsibility on probably on a couple of them. He’s had a bad run.”
• The Devils had an optional skate on Thursday morning. Petr Sykora, Patrik Elias, David Clarkson, Andy Greene, Bryce Salvador and Marek Zidlicky did not skate. Everyone else, however, did.
• Ilya Kovalchuk has a goal and assist and is a minus-1 through the first three games, but DeBoer likes where his superstar’s game is at right now.
“You guys look at Ilya and if the number line doesn’t translate to top 5 in the league, the consensus is he’s not doing his job,” DeBoer said. “He’s generating chances, he’s creating things. He’s been solid defensively. I’ve got no problem with his game.”
• A lot of the talk in the room centered on how their penalty kill (6-for-10) must be better and how if they get a lead, they have to keep it. Sounds simple enough, no?