Stanley Cup Playoffs NHL News NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Schedule NHL Awards NHL Playoff History
Home    News    Scoreboard    Standings    Schedule    Stats    Teams

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 2nd (All times eastern)

Boston Bruins (40-28-11) at New Jersey Devils (44-28-7), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Now that the New Jersey Devils have clinched a spot in the playoffs they'll try to hold onto the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Devils will get a chance to extend that lead tonight, when they welcome the Boston Bruins to the Prudential Center.

The Devils secured a postseason berth with Tuesday's win over the New York Islanders. New Jersey is currently two points ahead of the New York Rangers for the fourth spot in the East -- the final seed to have home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. Both the Devils and Rangers have three games left in the regular season and Jersey would like to increase their advantage over the idle Blueshirts tonight.

New Jersey is also still alive in the race for the Atlantic Division crown, but has little margin for error as it is five points behind Pittsburgh. The Devils have a game in hand over the Penguins, who host Philadelphia tonight, but Pittsburgh can clinch the Atlantic title with a win or a New Jersey loss.

Meanwhile, the Bruins come into this evening's test tied with Philadelphia for the final two playoff seeds in the East. The clubs each have three games left in the regular season and are just one point ahead of ninth-seeded Washington.

Boston could actually clinch a playoff spot tonight with a win and if Carolina gets no points against Tampa Bay.

The Devils have notched back-to-back wins following a season-high, five-game losing streak. New Jersey notched an overtime win Tuesday on Long Island as Zach Parise scored on a deflection just 29 seconds into the extra session to lift the Devils to a 2-1 victory over the Islanders.

Patrik Elias also scored for New Jersey, which will compete in the playoffs for the 11th consecutive season. Marty Brodeur turned aside 21 shots for the Devils.

New Jersey is 23-14-2 in its inaugural season at the Prudential Center, but has dropped three of four and four of its last six home tests. The Devils have a road game Friday in Philadelphia before closing out the regular season with Sunday's home test against the Rangers.

The Bruins will try to get back on the right track tonight after having a three-game winning streak snapped Sunday in Buffalo. Andrej Sekera's goal 39 seconds into overtime helped the Sabres to the dramatic 2-1 victory at HSBC Arena.

Boston attempted to rush the length of the ice, but a costly turnover in the neutral zone led to the end of the contest. Mike Weber poked the disc ahead to Thomas Vanek, who cruised down the left wing and pulled up in the circle. He then held the disc, before a cross-ice pass to Sekera, who rifled a shot past Alex Auld on the blocker side.

Dave Krejci had the lone goal and Auld stopped 28 shots for Boston.

The Bruins are 19-13-7 as the visiting team this year and are playing the middle test of a three-game road trip tonight. After closing the swing Friday in Ottawa, Boston will then cap its regular-season slate with Saturday's home test against the Sabres.

New Jersey is 2-1 against the Bruins this year and has taken eight of 11 and nine of the last 13 meetings between the clubs. Boston has also been defeated in two straight and four of five in the Garden State, although this is only the Bruins second trip to the Prudential Center.

04/02 14:49:57 ET

NHL SCOREBOARD
The Sports Network, a STATS Company. All Rights Reserved.  home | terms of use | privacy policy | comments | SportsNetworkdata.com