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Vets to guard nets at Yankee Stadium

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NEW YORK -- The biggest decision New Jersey Devils coach Pete DeBoer had to make heading into his club's game at Yankee Stadium was whether to go with his surefire Hall of Fame goalie or the guy who has been hot lately.

Once Martin Brodeur got the starting nod, the longtime No. 1 New Jersey netminder had to figure out just how many layers of clothing to wear in the cold and snow. He was warmer than expected Saturday and planned to shed a few layers for today's game against the New York Rangers.

Even though Cory Schneider has been on quite a roll, DeBoer is turning to Brodeur, the face of the franchise for the better part of two decades. No one was surprised by the choice, not even Schneider, who is 5-1-2 with a 0.96 goals-against average and .961 save percentage in eight starts dating from Dec. 28.

Still, DeBoer turned to Brodeur.

"It really is an easy decision from a right-thing-to-do-perspective," he said. "His career, 20 years with the Devils, what he's done, and he's played some excellent hockey for us this year."

Brodeur was reluctant to talk about his legacy and what he has accomplished with the Devils. "I want to deserve to play because of the way I play now, not what I did in the past," the 41-year-old said. "I'm happy to play a game. It's been a while. It's been over a week."

The decision was even easier at the other end of Yankee Stadium, where Rangers coach Alain Vigneault went with his unquestioned No. 1 goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, instead of young backup Cam Talbot, who has had a fine season.

Lundqvist has experience playing outside, having backstopped the Rangers' victory over the Flyers in Philadelphia two years ago. He also knows Yankee Stadium a bit, having attended ball games there, but the big ballpark in the Bronx never looked like this in summer.

"It was very special to walk out there today, but I think tomorrow when you hear the crowd... you get goose bumps," he said.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 26, 2014 B5

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