Bruins Game 74 Preview: New Jersey Devils

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

After a big 5-0 win over the New York Islanders, the Bruins are right back at it with a game against the New Jersey Devils tonight in New Jersey. Boston is 7-3-0 in their last ten games and have won each of their last two meetings. Boston holds a four-point lead on the Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division with 97 points on the season.

The New Jersey Devils are nearly the exact opposite from the Bruins right now and it may come as a surprise to many considering where they were last season. The Devils are 2-7-1 in the last ten games and have lost two consecutive games including a 4-1 loss two days ago against the Capitals. New Jersey is 14th in the NHL’s Eastern Conference with a 27-38-9 record for 63 points on the year.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 25-10-5 2.39 GAA .917 SV% Last Game: 13 Saves in 5-0 Win vs NYI

NJD: Corey Schneider 5-11-3 3.13 GAA .901 SV% Last Game: 31 Saves in 3-0 Loss vs COL

Who’s Hot

Jake DeBrusk scored the fifth and final goal in Boston’s Tuesday night win over the Islanders and it has only been a continuation of his recent success, dating back to the games before his foot injury. In his last six games, DeBrusk has six points, four of which are goals and has been a consistent threat alongside David Krejci on the second-line. DeBrusk has 23-12-35 numbers in 59 games in 2018-19, eight short of his career-high of 43 that he reached last season.

Even though he has a record of 1-2-1 in his last four starts, goaltender Corey Schneider has not been extremely terrible in the past month or so for the Devils. On March 5th, he allowed one goal on 19 shots in an overtime loss to CBJ, allowed three goals on 43 shots in a loss to NYR on March 9th, allowed 3 goals on 39 shots against the Oilers on March 13th and more recently, allowed only two goals in the loss to the Avalanche. In each of those games, Schneider has been above a .923 save percentage while facing high numbers of shots against.

Patrice Bergeron has scored twelve points in his last 11 games played, including three points in the last two games combined. Bergeron has been great with Brad Marchand, which is no surprise given their long history of success with each other, but without Pastrnak on their right-wing, it has been a breath of fresh air to see him continue his production at such a rate. Patrice has 28 goals, 40 assists for 68 points in only 57 games and has a true chance to hit 70 points for the first time since the 2006-07 season (his 3rd NHL campaign).

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

It is really hard to find any other positives for this New Jersey Devils team who has lost seven times in regulation over the last ten games. The Devils have only scored one goal in six consecutive periods this week and they have not shown any signs of scoring touch since losing Taylor Hall to injury and even before that.

Who’s Not

Kyle Palmieri does have the highest single-season point total of any Devil and the most points for him in the last three seasons, but without Hall in the lineup, he has the responsibility of carrying the offensive needs of the team going forward. Palmieri has only two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in the past eight contests and that is just not good enough for the 28-year-old forward.

In the last 13 games, Bruins forward David Backes only has two points for the Black and Gold and has not scored a goal of his own since January 17th versus the St. Louis Blues – an outstanding twenty-two games without a goal. Making $6 million a year, Backes needs to add more production on the Bruins bottom-six as we close into the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The plus/minus statistic is not the most reliable stat nor does it provide an image of how well that player is doing, but when a player has a -21 rating on the season, that does show an issue and paints a problem somewhere on the team or the player individually. Damon Severson has a -21 rating and was on the ice for all three goals against the Avalanche and has zero points in the last three games played.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Paul Carey is one game away (99) from 100 career NHL games
  • D Zdeno Chara is one goal away (199) from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (25) from passing Rick Middleton (25) for sole possession of most SHG in Bruins history

New Jersey Devils:

  • F Travis Zajac is one goal away (184) from tying Kirk Muller (185) form 5th most goals in Devils history

Bruins vs Devils Outlook

Tonight’s contest will be the third game between the Bruins and the Devils this season and it will also be the last one. Currently, the two teams are tied in the season series with a victory each. On December 27th, the Devils won by a score of 5-2, but the Bruins returned the favor earlier this month with a 1-0 win on home ice with Brad Marchand scoring the game’s only goal in his 666th career NHL game.

Power-Play:

BOS: 26.2% (3nd in NHL)

NJD: 17.5% (20th in NHL)

Penalty-Kill:

BOS: 81.3% (10th in NHL)

NJD: 84% (4th in NHL)

Puck drop is scheduled 7pm EST from Newark, New Jersey in the Prudential Center.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

Click Here For The Boston Bruins 2018-19 Regular Season Schedule and Ticket Info From SeatGiant.com

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