Game 37: New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins
Game Time: 7:00 PM
TV: MSG, NHLN-US
Radio: WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM
The New Jersey Devils (15-12-9) will travel to Boston to face-off against the Bruins (23-8-4) on Thursday night for the second time this season, with the teams set to meet once more next Wednesday at the Prudential Center. The first meeting between the teams came when the Devils were 3-0-1 and the Bruins were 4-0-1, and resulted in a 2-1 shootout loss for the Devils. The Devils will be looking to get out of a recent slump that has plagued their play lately, while the Bruins will look to catch up to Montreal for first place in the Northeast Division.
New Jersey Devils
The Devils have fallen on some hard times lately, going 0-1-3 in their past four games, and 3-3-4 in their past 10. While many expected the team’s offense to struggle without Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils’ defense has been rather poor as of late. The team gave up tying goals within the closing 30 seconds of their games against the Lightning and Panthers, both games they would lose in extra time. In addition, during an Islanders power-play on Monday, the defense seemingly forgot about John Tavares, letting him slip behind them, giving him a wide-open shot to give the Islanders a 3-1 lead, which would be the final score. The Devils need to get points in order to stay within playoff contention and will be desperate to gain any points they can in the coming weeks.
The Bruins are coming off of two strong wins, 2-0 over the Buffalo Sabres and 3-2 over the Ottawa Senators. Boston did, however, lose 3-1 to the Flyers this past Saturday, a game that many people felt should have been an easy win for Boston. All-in-all, Boston is 5-4-1 in their past ten. Tuukka Rask has gotten to call in net for the Bruins this season, starting 24 of 35 games and holding a 15-5-4 record, backed by a 2.02 GAA and 0.922 save percentage, all of which are impressive numbers. Many questioned Boston’s goaltending at the start of the season, with Tim Thomas taking the season off, but Rask has proven that there was nothing to worry about.
What to Watch For
These teams will look very different from the first time we saw them this season. For starters, Martin Brodeur is expected to make the start Thursday night, while Hedberg got the nod earlier in the season. In terms of injuries, Ilya Kovalchuk will still be out, along with Patrice Bergeron of the Bruins, who is sitting out with a moderate concussion. While the Devils would not give a specific timetable on Kovalchuk’s return, they did say that he will be back before the end of the regular season on April 27. Bergeron is said to be in good spirits and walking, but no timetable was given on his return either. Then there’s the trades. As I’m sure most of you have heard, the Bruins acquired Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars, adding a veteran forward to an already potent offense, and even traded for defenseman Wade Redden late Wednesday afternoon. The Devils brought back an old face (I can’t remember the last time this happened) and traded for forward Steve Sullivan, who was drafted by the Devils in 1994. While it might not be the move that some Devils fans expected and/or hoped for after the team’s recent performance, I’ve learned over the past 26 years to not question Lou’s motives or decisions. But back to the game: With the Devils desperately looking for points, expect a strong, motivated performance by them. The Bruins are far too powerful of a team for the Devils to play a relaxed game against.
Posted on April 4, 2013, in Devils Army, Devils Army Generals, Game Preview, New Jersey Devils, NHL and tagged boston bruins, game preview, Ilya Kovalchuk, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.