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Game 40: Boston Bruins at New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils vs Boston Bruins

Game Time:  7:30 PM
TV: NBCSN
Radio: 970 AM

Match-Up

The New Jersey Devils (15-14-10) will play host to the Boston Bruins (25-9-4) tonight for third and final meeting of the season. This is the second game between these teams in the last week. Last Thursday, the Devils shipped up to Boston in a game that saw the Devils throw everything but the kitchen sink at Tuukka Rask, but he stopped all 40 shots. Jaromir Jagr would score in his debut as a Bruin, and the Devils would fall 1-0. These are two teams headed in different directions, as Boston is fighting to win the Northeast Division, and New Jersey is fighting to keep its playoffs hopes alive.

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Game Preview – Game 39: Boston Bruins @ Your New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils vs Boston Bruins

New Jersey Devils (21-15-2, 44 points) vs Boston Bruins (24-10-1, 49 points)
7:30 PM EST
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

This will be the second of four games between the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins this season. The two teams last met on November 15, in Boston, which saw the defending Stanley Cup Champions sneak past the Devils, 4-3.

Shorthanded Goal Blows Devils Third Period Lead: 

The New Jersey Devils kryptonite this season has been third period leads and shorthanded goals. Both of these combined to give the Devils only their second overtime loss this season.

So far this season, the Devils have given up 12 shorthanded goals. No other club has given up more than five shorthanded goals. Currently, the Devils are on pace to break the season-record of shorthanded goals against, which is 22 shared by three teams: the 1984-85 Pittsburgh Penguins, the 1991-92 Minnesota North Stars, and the 1995-96 Stanley Cup Champions, the Colorado Avalanche.

On the bright side, the Devils currently are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for scoring the most shorthanded goals as a team, so far this season, with seven. Last year, the Devils only had five shorthanded goals all season.

No matter how atrocious the powerplay unit seems this year by not converting on powerplay chances and giving up shorthanded goals, the team is still doing a lot better than they were at this point last season. Just be thankful that the Devils aren’t 19 games below NHL-.500, like they were at one point last year.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus

Tedenby – Carter – Clarkson
Boulton – Sestito – Janssen

Salvador – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Taormina – Foster

Brodeur
Hedberg

*Note: Travis Zajac is expected to be a scratch tonight due to expected soreness in his achilles tendon.
——————–

The Latest on the Boston Bruins:

After a slow start, the defending Stanley Cup Champions found themselves with the longest winning streak in the league earlier this season, 10 games. After that was ended, a new streak started when the Bruins looked to win their eighth consecutive game in their last game of 2011 on Saturday against the Stars, but the Stars had different plans handing the Bruins a 4-2 loss. During the Bruins’ seven-game win streak, the Bruins outscored their opponents by a 32-8 margin, but were outshot 244-212.

If you’re a Devils fan reading this, the intimidating stat is the Bruins are 21-3-1 in their last 25 games and are 10-2-0 in their last 12 road games.

Tonight’s game will be the Bruins first game of 2012, and only their third in the past 12 days. The question going into the game is: will the rest benefit the Bruins or will they be relaxed?

Projected Bruins Lineup:

Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Marchand – Bergeron – Seguin
Pouliot – Kelly – Peverly
Paille – Hamill – Thornton

Chara – Boychuk
Seidenberg – Corvo
Ference – McQuaid

Thomas
Rask

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Game Preview – Game 38: Your New Jersey Devils @ Ottawa Senators

New Jersey Devils vs Ottawa Senators

New Jersey Devils (21-15-1, 43 points) vs Ottawa Senators (19-5-5, 43 points)
7:30 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight, the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators will meet for the second time this season. They last met on December 8 at Prudential Center which saw Adam Henrique give the Devils the edge in a shootout, 5-4.

Devils Only Fourth in the Atlantic Division?:

Am I reading the standings right? The Devils find the Islanders as the only team under them with an 11 point difference.

The Devils have gone 7-3-0 in their last ten, and are playing some of their best hockey this season. Going into tonight’s matchup, the Devils find themselves tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference Standings  with their opponents for the night, the Ottawa Senators, and the newly re-formed Winnipeg Jets. Tonight’s game between the Devils and Senators is an important one as even though they are tied for sixth in the East, they’re only one point ahead of the ninth place Washington Capitals.

After their win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, the Devils find themselves three points behind the flight-less bird for third in the division, and fifth in the Conference.

The only problem with the Devils so far this season, when it comes to the standings at least, is they’re heavily relying on the shootout. The first tiebreaker for this season, is regulation+overtime wins. Shootout wins will not count. So far this season, the Devils have eight of their 21 wins in a shootout, giving them 13 regulation+overtime wins. Most of the others in the conference have around 18, 19 wins. The Devils need to learn to hold onto a lead and get wins in regulation or, if they must, the sudden death overtime.

Henrique named Rookie of the Month:

For the last month of 2011, Adam Henrique was named the rookie of the month.  Henrique  had 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) and posted a +9 rating in 14 games in the month. Henrique was a key part to the Devils winning 10 of 14 games and propelling the Devils into sixth in the Eastern Conference.

This is the first month that Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has not won the award, showing that Adam Henrique is indeed a threat for Rookie of the Year at season’s end.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus

Tedenby – Zajac – Clarkson
Boulton – Carter – Janssen

Salvador – Larsson
Taormina – Foster
Tallinder – Fayne

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–
The Latest on the Ottawa Senators:

The Senators are dominating the All-Star balloting, which is no surprise due to the game being played at Scotiabank Place.

The Sens find themselves tied for sixth with the Devils and Jets in the Eastern Conference standings, and are second in the Northeast Division. The Senators won five of their last seven games which has them within six points of the Bruins for the division lead; however, the Bruins have four games in hand on the Senators, which might be the Division title out of reach for the Senators with the way the defending Stanley Cup Champions have been playing.

A player to watch on the Senators tonight is Daniel Alfredsson. The Sens Captain has five points in his last five games.

Projected Senators Lineup:

Greening – Spezza – Michalek
Condra – Turris – Alfredsson
Foligno – Smith – Butler
Daugavins – Konopka – Neil

Kuba – Karlsson
Cowen – Gonchar
Phillips – Lee/Carkner

Anderson
Auld

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Game Preview – Game 16: Your New Jersey Devils @ The BruCrew

New Jersey Devils vs Boston BruinsNew Jersey Devils (8-6-1, 17 points) @ Boston Bruins (8-7-0, 16 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG Plus 2
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight marks the first of four games, and first of two in Boston, between the Devils and the Bruins. Last year, the Bruins took the season series 3-1. The Devils beat the Bruins in the final game of the season in a game which meant nothing for either side and saw the Bruins rest some key players, including Tim Thomas (who was 3-0 against the Devils last year).

Devils Win Again in Shootout:

In their last game, the New Jersey Devils looked to be heading for another loss. The Devils found themselves down 2-0 in the second period, until Petr Sykora snapped a shot off a faceoff to pull the Devils within one. Ryan Carter then deflected a shot with just over a minute left in the second period to tie the score.

The Devils held on and Johan Hedberg made remarkable save after remarkable save to force the game into OT and a shootout.

The Devils sent out Zach Parise, Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias in the shootout with Parise scoring. However, Alex Ovechkin scored for the Washington Capitals, so a fourth round was needed. The fourth shooter was chosen by Assistant Coach Adam Oates, and it was David Clarkson. Clarkson was able to put the puck past Capitals goaltender Michael Neuvirth giving the Devils the extra point and the win.

Will Ilya Kovalchuk Play Tonight?:

I wish I could tell you either yes or no.

After injuring his groin in the Devils’ 4-3 win over Philadelphia two weeks ago, Ilya Kovalchuk started participating in full-team practices with the Devils. He was skating as an extra forward with Rod Pelley. During this morning’s skate, Kovalchuk was skating as an extra forward again, BUT was a part of the first powerplay unit when the team ran through powerplay drills.

Originally, Head Coach Peter DeBoer, who officially confirmed the injury to Kovalchuk is a groin injury, said that Kovalchuk would NOT play tonight. However, he will now let Kovalchuk participate in the pre-game warmup.

DeBoer had an idea to use Kovalchuk in only powerplay instances tonight, but felt that Kovalchuk would get stiff while sitting on the bench in between powerplay opportunities.

Odds are Kovalchuk will be scratched again tonight, but it will be a game time decision.

Against the Bruins:

All-time the Devils are 41-44-15-2 against the Bruins, and are 19-23-8-2 when playing in Boston.

Patrik Elias is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils against the Bruins with 39 points (21 goals, 18 assists) in 50 games played.

Ilya Kovalchuk, however, has the most career points against the Bruins with 40 points (22 goals, 18 assists) in 37 games played.

Johan Hedberg is 4-8-2 in his career against the Bruins with a 2.93 GAA.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Palmieri
Sykora - Elias - Zubrus

Tedenby - Carter – Clarkson
Zharkov - Mills - Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder - Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Hedberg
Brodeur

——————–

Lucic Not Suspended:

The talk of the NHL world this past weekend was whether or not Bruins forward Milan Lucic was going to get suspended for his hit on Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender Ryan Miller. Miller left the game and was later diagnosed with a concussion.

Lucic met with Brendan Shanahan on Monday to discuss disciplinary actions, but the decision was made not to suspend him. Shanahan felt that there wasn’t evidence of the hit being outstandingly bad that warranted a suspension.

Many in the NHL and fans were angry with Shanahan’s decision and believe that if an injury occurs on the play, there should be a suspension.

Seguin earns NHL First Star of the Week:

The Bruins hot offense has been sparked by NHL sophomore, Tyler Seguin.

Seguin, the second overall draft pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has scored seven goals in his last four games.

He currently has the league’s top plus/minus at +14, is tied for second in the league in goals (11)  and tied for fourth in the NHL in points (20).

Projected Bruins Lineup:

Marchand – Seguin – Bergeron
Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Thornton – Campbell – Caron
Peverly – Kelly – Hamill

Chara – Boychuk
Corvo – Seidenberg
Ference – McQuaid

Thomas
Rask
Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

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