NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, April 10th
(All times eastern)
Boston Bruins (46-24-11) at New Jersey Devils (37-39-5), 3 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Northeast Division champion Boston Bruins will try to
sweep the New Jersey Devils for the first time in 25 years this afternoon as
the two clubs close out their regular season at the Prudential Center.
The Bruins, who are seeded third in the Eastern Conference and will battle the
rival Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs, have outscored
the Devils, 11-2, in taking the first three meetings of this season. Boston
hasn't recorded a season-series sweep of New Jersey since taking all three
matchups in 1985-86.
Boston has won four straight overall against the Devils, including two in a
row at New Jersey.
Netminder Tim Thomas has been in net for all three victories this season,
posting a 0.67 goals-against average, but he is unlikely to start this contest
after making 31 saves in yesterday's 3-1 home win over the Senators. Thomas
leads the league with a 2.00 goals-against average and .938 save percentage
and would break Dominik Hasek's record save percentage of .937 set in 1998-99.
Tuukka Rask should get the start in Thomas' place.
Center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Dennis Seidenberg were both healthy
scratches on Saturday, while forward Mark Recchi and blueliner Zdeno Chara
aren't expected to be in the lineup today as the Bruins prepare for the
playoffs. Recchi played in his 1,652nd career game on Saturday, passing Chris
Chelios for fourth on the all-time list.
Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley and Daniel Paille all scored versus the Senators
as the Bruins improved to 7-2-1 in their last 10 heading into their fourth
straight playoff appearance.
"(The Senators) wanted to leave a good impression in their last game. We knew
it wasn't going to be an easy game," said Boston head coach Claude Julien.
The Devils would also like to make a good impression in their 2010-11 finale.
New Jersey currently sits at 37-39-5, meaning its run of 18 straight seasons
of .500-plus records dating back to 1991-92 will end. That was the second-
longest active streak in the league behind the Red Wings' 19.
New Jersey, which will also miss the postseason for the first time since 1996,
had a chance to knock the Rangers out of the playoff picture on Saturday and
took an early lead, but New York rallied for a 5-2 victory.
"We had two bad changes and they scored on (them)," said Devils head coach
Jacques Lemaire. "Aside from that, I thought the guys played hard."
Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist in the first period, Nick Palmieri
also scored and Martin Brodeur made 24 saves in defeat, the Devils' third in
four games and sixth in the last nine.
Brodeur, at 23-26-3, will also finish below .500 for the first time in his
New Jersey played without Zach Parise (knee), Dainius Zubrus (stinger), Anton
Volchenkov (leg) and Colin White (leg/knee) on Saturday.
04/10 10:27:42 ET