NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 22nd (All times eastern)
New Jersey Devils (34-34-4) at Boston Bruins (39-22-10), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils are running out of time in their push for the postseason, but they will take aim at a second straight win when they visit the first-place Boston Bruins tonight at TD Garden.
The Devils had lost two straight before posting a shutout victory Sunday in Columbus. Despite a 24-5-2 record over their last 31 games, New Jersey is still tied for 11th in the East and is seven points behind Buffalo for the conference's eighth and final postseason berth.
Boston, meanwhile, is looking good in the East playoff race, but is trying desperately to hold onto the top spot in the Northeast Division. The Bruins' 88 points have them just one ahead of Montreal for first place in the division as well as the third seed in the East. The Canadiens are playing tonight in Buffalo.
The Bruins have not helped their division title cause much in recent weeks, going 1-3-3 over their last seven games. Boston has lost its last two games and will face the Canadiens Thursday night in Beantown.
Boston defeated the Devils in two previous meetings this year, but the last time the clubs met was back in November, months before New Jersey began its late-season surge.
The Bruins have won three straight in this series, but New Jersey has taken five of the last nine encounters overall. The Devils were shut out by a 3-0 score the last time the clubs met on Nov. 15 in Boston and that setback ended New Jersey's two-game winning streak in Beantown.
On Sunday, New Jersey ended its two-game slide with a 3-0 victory over the Blue Jackets. David Clarkson scored twice and Martin Brodeur turned aside all 13 shots for his fifth shutout of the season.
Nick Palmieri also tallied, while Mattias Tedenby notched a pair of assists for the Devils. Brodeur stopped two shots in the first, five in the second and six in the third period to record his 115th career shutout, the most in NHL history.
"I thought we played really, really well," Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire said.
Sunday's game marked the start of a four-game road trip for New Jersey, which is 16-19-1 as the visiting club this season.
Boston last played on Saturday and was dealt a 5-2 loss by the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. James Reimer frustrated the visiting Bruins with 35 saves and Toronto used a three-goal second period to take control of the game.
Adam McQuaid and Daniel Paille scored for the Bruins. Tim Thomas was shelled for four goals on 22 shots in the loss. Tuukka Rask allowed a goal on seven chances in almost 12 minutes of work in the second period.
Bruins defenseman Tomas Kaberle made his return to Ontario's largest city for the first time since Boston acquired him. He had one shot in just over 20 minutes of play.
"It was really nice from the fans. They had really good support during my 12 years here. There's lots of memories here," Kaberle said.
The Bruins will have forward Brad Marchand back tonight after he completed serving a two-game suspension. Marchand received the ban for elbowing Columbus forward R.J. Umberger in the head last Tuesday.
Boston has a 16-12-5 record as the host this year compared to a 23-10-5 mark on home ice. The Bruins have lost two straight and five of their last seven as the host.
03/22 10:46:57 ET