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(Tuesday, March 4th)
Final Score: New Jersey 4, Detroit 3
Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - If this was indeed Martin Brodeur's final game as a New Jersey Devil, he'll be going out a winner.
Stephen Gionta's goal with 36.6 seconds remaining in regulation enabled New Jersey to come through with a 4-3 decision over the Detroit Red Wings at Prudential Center, the 684th -- and possibly last -- victory for Brodeur in a Devils' uniform.
Rumors swirled prior to the game that Brodeur, who has spent his entire 21- year career with the Devils, would be willing to waive his no-trade clause prior to Wednesday's deadline. The 41-year-old has been relegated to a part- time role behind Cory Schneider in recent weeks.
"One way or the other we'll deal with what I have to do," Brodeur said of the rumors. "I have the last word. I didn't give up anything of my status right now and I'm planning on keeping it until I'm asked."
Brodeur, who received a rousing ovation from the home crowd during pregame introductions, came up with 20 saves, and the Devils overcame a 2-1 deficit after two periods on goals by Marek Zidlicky, Travis Zajac and Gionta.
Adam Henrique scored in the opening minute in New Jersey's third triumph in four games.
Johan Franzen continued his recent hot streak for Detroit, notching a goal and an assist in the loss. Brendan Smith and Todd Bertuzzi also tallied for the Red Wings, while Jimmy Howard finished with 25 saves.
"At the end of the day we didn't play well enough defensively to win this game," Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall said.
New Jersey's third-period barrage started quickly, as Zidlicky's power-play drive from the point was inadvertently knocked out of Howard's glove by the stick of defenseman Jonathan Ericsson and crossed the line just 41 seconds in to knot the score at 2-2.
The Devils struck again less than six minutes later. Ryane Clowe knocked Detroit's Riley Sheahan off the puck to begin a rush that ended with Zajac lifting a backhander over a prone Howard, who had just kicked away a blast from Jaromir Jagr.
New Jersey's Eric Gelinas was sent off for interference not long afterward, however, and the Red Wings needed just 13 seconds to convert the man-advantage chance. Franzen fired a centering feed from Gustav Nyquist that Bertuzzi tipped through Brodeur's pads for a 3-3 deadlock with just under 10 minutes left.
It remained that way into the final minute, when the Devils' Dainius Zubrus worked the puck back to Mark Faine for a long drive that Gionta successfully redirected into the net.
Henrique put the Red Wings in an early hole, fighting off a check from Ericsson to sneak a backhand try past Howard's left skate with just 27 seconds elapsed in the game. Howard was spotless over the next 39 minutes, though, and Detroit bounced back to take a 2-1 lead into the third.
Detroit tied it later in the first period by capitalizing on its initial power-play chance. A failed attempt by New Jersey to clear the puck out of its own zone resulted in Franzen rifling a point-blank shot over Brodeur's shoulder with 8:34 remaining in the frame.
Smith sent the Red Wings in front 7:03 into the second, racing in from the blueline to take in Justin Abdelkader's behind-the-net give and beating Brodeur stick-side with a well-placed wrister.
Franzen, who recorded a hat trick in Detroit's 6-1 win at Ottawa on Sunday, was named the NHL's First Star of the Week on Monday. Henrique, who has now scored in four straight, received Second Star honors ... The Red Wings held out center Pavel Datsyuk to rest his sore right knee ... Defenseman Bryce Salvador (collarbone) and forward Damien Brunner (leg) both returned to the Devils' lineup after missing the previous two games ... New Jersey's Patrik Elias assisted on Zidlicky's goal, giving him seven points over the last three games ... The teams will square off again in Detroit on Friday, one day after the Red Wings host Colorado.
03/05 00:18:41 ET