The Boston Bruins head to Newark tonight to face the Devils for the final time this season. The Bruins come into tonight riding a bit of a slump, having gone only 4-5-1 in their last ten games. However, they came away with a 3-1 victory on Saturday night in Toronto. Despite being the road team, the Bruins may have the advantage. Coming into tonight’s game, the Bruins are 24-11-3 on the road, as opposed to 16-17-5 at home.
The Devils have struggled mightily against the Bruins over the last two seasons. In 5 head-to-head match ups, the Devils are 0-3-2 and have been outscored 16-6. They’ll have to bring their A game tonight if they want to end their losing streak to Boston.
Despite a rash of injuries and numerous call-ups from Albany, the Devils have been playing decent hockey to close out the season. Scott Wedgewood has provided the Devils with excellent goaltending over the last four games while call-ups such as Blake Pietila and Vojtech Mozik have been able to get some NHL games under their belts, which should help them with their development going forward.
Players to Watch
Lee Stempniak…He’ll be returning to New Jersey for the first time since being traded at the deadline by the Devils. He’s fit in nicely with Bruins since joining the team. He has 7 points in thirteen games and has been playing on the top-line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. He’s also been a 50.9% possession player in Boston, as opposed to 45.5% with New Jersey. However, he’s slowed down as of late with just 1 point in his last nine games. If the Bruins are to make a deep playoff run, they’ll need Stempniak to contribute.
Joseph Blandisi…He’s hit a wall since getting off to a torrid start with the Devils. He’s been held without a goal in his last eighteen games and has just 5 points during that time span. With just six games to go on the season, can he break out of his slump and find his scoring touch before he possibly rejoins Albany for their playoff push?
What to Watch
Creating Offense…Boston is giving up 28.7 scoring chances against per 60 minutes, the fourth highest mark in the league. For a team that struggles to create scoring chances, the Devils should be able to get some good opportunities to light the lamp tonight.
The Final Push…The Devils making the playoffs would be nothing short of a miracle at this point. However, with a number of young players currently on the roster, it’s important for the Devils to end on a high note, as a high draft pick also seems unlikely. Can they end the season on a bit of a streak? Picking up a win against a good Bruins team would be a start.
Keith Kinkaid…He’ll make his first start since March 19th where he was pulled early in the second period in favor of Yann Danis. Kinkaid has struggled this season. With Scott Wedgewood knocking on the door for the backup role behind Schneider, Kinkaid will need to have a good start tonight.
Where and When to Watch
The game can been seen at 7PM on MSG and TVAS