BOSTON — The Bruins can pull to within one point of first place in the Atlantic Division with a win Sunday against the New Jersey Devils.
Boston enters the matinee matchup three points behind the division-leading Montreal Canadiens after going 10-1-3 in its last 14 games.
“Every game that you play, especially in your own conference, is big points,” forward Landon Ferraro said before the game. “It’s not like before where there was 35 points separating teams from top to bottom. It’s tight everywhere now, so every game that you can steal from another team in your conference is big.”
New Jersey, meanwhile, sits just two points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference but has struggled of late, especially on the offensive end. The Devils are 4-4-2 in the month of December and have scored four total goals in their last four games.
The Bruins did not hold a morning skate Sunday, meaning their exact lineup won’t be known until shortly before puck drop. But expect to see Tyler Randell — a healthy scratch for the last five games — return to action after the Bruins reassigned forward Alex Khokhlachev to Providence on Saturday.
Here are the projected lines and pairings for both teams:
BOSTON BRUINS (18-9-4)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Brett Connolly
Matt Beleskey — David Krejci — Loui Eriksson
Frank Vatrano — Ryan Spooner — Jimmy Hayes
Landon Ferraro — Max Talbot — Tyler Randell
Zdeno Chara — Adam McQuaid
Dennis Seidenberg — Colin Miller
Torey Krug — Kevan Miller
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (16-13-3)
Mike Cammalleri — Adam Henrique — Lee Stempniak
Jiri Tlusty — Travis Zajac — Kyle Palmieri
Sergei Kalinin — Jacob Josefson — Tyler Kennedy
Tuomu Ruutu — Stephen Gionta — Jordin Tootoo
Andy Greene — Adam Larsson
John Moore — Damon Severson
Eric Gelinas — David Schlemko
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid