Livid with the officiating throughout his team's 4-1 loss to the Rangers, Devils coach Pete DeBoer was tossed from the game with less than 35 seconds remaining in regulation.
DeBoer, who earned a bench minor for "abuse of officials" in the second period after a blatant too-many-men penalty on the Rangers went unnoticed, was served with a game misconduct as time was winding down.
It was the last indignity of a frustrating game that officially eliminated the Devils from playoff contention. The Devils have now missed the playoffs in two of the last three seasons, though DeBoer led New Jersey to the Stanley Cup finals last spring.
"There was frustration," DeBoer said. "It's obviously not the way you want to go out. But that's how it ends for us. We will have to regroup and move forward."
The officiating was questionable throughout the game, and Ilya Kovalchuk came to his coach's defense.
Throwing out DeBoer so late in the game seemed unnecessary, Kovalchuk said.
"You can't do that in the last seconds in front of everybody," Kovalchuk told reporters. "Fifteen seconds left, you don't have to put on a show."
It is not clear whether DeBoer will be subject to any discipline from the league, though Islanders coach Brent Thompson was suspended two games for his emotional outburst after the Isles' 2-1 loss to the Rangers back in March.