The Bruins will try to rebound from a tough 3-2 loss to Buffalo on Monday and avenge another 3-2 loss at New Jersey on March 15 when they take on the Devils for the final time this season. The Devils are also looking to bounce back from a loss after being routed at Philadelphia Sunday 5-1.
Both teams are battling for playoff position but one would think the Bruins might have more desperation in their game as they're clinging to the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference, with Atlanta just two points behind them. The Devils are trying to catch Pittsburgh for the Atlantic Division title, trailing the defending Stanley Cup champions by two points.
While this may be the second of back-to-back games for Boston, it also is a chance for quick redemption from Monday night and hopefully another chance to take a four-point lead on the Thrashers, should they lose at Toronto tonight.
WHEN AND WHERE
March 30, 7 p.m. (NESN)
Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.
Bruins (33-27-12, 80 points, fourth place in Northeast Division, eighth place in Eastern Conference)
Devils (44-26-5, 93 points, second place in Atlantic Division, fourth place in Eastern Conference)
HEAD TO HEAD
This is the final meeting of the season between the Bruins and Devils. The Bruins have yet to beat New Jersey this season going 0-2-1 thus far. In their last game against the Devils, the Bruins fell behind 3-0 in the first period and had a comeback fall short, losing 3-2.
Tuukka Rask will most likely get the start after he came in to spell the struggling Tim Thomas on Monday night and got the job done with 19 saves and no goals allowed. But if the defense plays the way it did for the first two periods of the loss to the Sabres, Rask will need to stand on his head.
"I think we played well," Dennis Seidenberg said of the team's defensive effort Monday night. "We had good energy, but those little letdowns were enough for them to win the game. If we don?t have those, there is a good chance we end up winning that game."
The Bruins are probably hoping they catch the Martin Brodeur that showed up in Philadelphia on Sunday and not the one they faced March 15 when Brodeur made 34 saves. On Sunday against the Flyers, Brodeur lasted only two periods as he allowed four goals on 19 shots.
"You have to forget about certain games," Brodeur told NJ.com. "We've been playing well. Nothing wanted to go in. We've got to turn the page and move on."
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Milan Lucic–Vladimir Sobotka–Miroslav Satan
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara–Dennis Seidenberg
Mark Stuart–Dennis Wideman
Matt Hunwick–Johnny Boychuk
Zach Parise–Patrik Elias–Jamie Langenbrunner
Ilya Kovalchuk–Travis Zajac–Brian Rolston
Dainius Zubrus–Rob Niedermayer–David Clarkson
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond–Dean McAmmond–Vladimir Zharkov
Paul Martin–Colin White
Andy Greene–Bryce Salvador
Mike Mottau–Martin Skoula
Tuukka Rask is 18-11-4 with a 2.08 GAA, a .928 save percentage and four shutouts. Rask had an off night last Thursday, allowing five goals on 18 shots.
Tim Thomas is 16-18-8 with a 2.55 GAA and a .915 save percentage. He has five shutouts.
Martin Brodeur is 41-24-4 with a 2.37 GAA and .912 save percentage. The future Hall of Famer has seven shutouts and is first in the NHL with 4,070 minutes played.
Yann Danis is 3-2-1 with a 2.06 GAA and .923 save percentage. Danis made 31 saves in a 2-1 win over the Bruins on Oct. 29.
Patrice Bergeron didn?t register a point Monday but he has four points (one goal, three assists) in the four games before the match against Buffalo. He leads the team with 49 points and has 32 assists.
Marco Sturm leads the team with 21 goals but hasn?t scored in nine games. He was stoned on a penalty shot Monday night.
David Krejci scored for the second straight game and now has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his last four games and 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in the 15 games since the Olympic break. Krejci is second on the team with 47 points.
Chara had his two-game goal-scoring streak snapped Monday but got an assist to keep his point streak alive. He now has a four-game point streak going with five points (two goals, three assists) during that stretch. He leads the defense in points with 40.
Dennis Seidenberg scored a goal for the second straight game Monday and now has a four-game point streak going with two goals and two assists. He has nine points in 12 games with the Bruins since being acquired at the trade deadline. Seidenberg has 28 helpers and 32 points this season.
Ilya Kovalchuk has three goals and five assists in his last four games since the birth of his third child on March 21. He has eight goals and 20 points in 20 games as a Devil. He leads the team in goals with 39 and points with 78. Kovalchuk was named the third star of last week by the NHL.
Captain Jamie Langenbrunner has two goals and two assists in his last five games and leads the team in assists with 42. He has 60 points this season.
Patrik Elias has two goals and four assists in his last four games. He has 42 points this season.
Former Bruin Brian Rolston has a three-game point streak going with a goal and two assists during that stretch. Rolston has 35 points this season.
Defenseman Andy Greene leads the Devils' blue line with 34 points. He has a three-game point streak going with three helpers during that span.
BLACK AND BLUE
Marc Savard is out indefinitely with a Grade 2 concussion.
Andrew Ference (groin) is out. He missed his second-straight game Monday and has not skated for the last four days. Ference did not make the trip to New Jersey.
Andrew Peters is questionable with an eye injury.
THIS DATE IN BRUINS HISTORY
On March 30, 1976 Jean Ratelle (who had begun the season with the Rangers) has a goal and two assists in a 4-4 tie against the visiting Sabres to become the first NHL player to score 100 points (combined) while playing for two teams in one season.
"I mean, it's like our season, it's just … we can?t make anything harder on ourselves. I think this team has confidence in our road game. We?ve played some real good road games."
–Forward Milan Lucic, on the position the Bruins have put themselves in, having to win road games to make the playoffs since they have four of their last seven games on the road
The Bruins just can?t find any consistency still.
Tim Thomas was pulled Monday night, but Tuukka Rask stopped the bleeding
Andrew Ference could need surgery on his groin earlier than expected
Mum is the word on the Devils possibly resigning Ilya Kovalchuk
Could this be a preview of a first-round matchup?
Who is the Devils? team MVP?
Former Bruin Joe Thornton escaped serious injury.
The Senators finally have a new No. 1 goalie.
Abbotsford Heat (AHL) coach Jim Playfair is paying for his meltdown during a game over the weekend.
The Bruins are going to have little room for error against a Devils team that always makes you pay for mistakes, especially now that it has one of the biggest scoring threats in the NHL in Ilya Kovalchuk. The B's can?t fall behind, or chances are Martin Brodeur and the stingy defense will never let them comeback. So they must go out and dictate the tempo right away and score the first goal. If they can do that, and the defense cleans up their act, they may be able to come away with at least a point, if not two.