The Bruins will host the slumping New Jersey Devils tonight, in an effort to get things back on track after a mild slump. The Bruins are 1-3-1 in their last five games, and though they haven't looked bad in any of those four losses, and arguably deserved a better fate against St. Louis, 3 points in 5 games is still not what they're looking for.
To say that the Devils have had a rough season is akin to saying that the Democratic Party had a rough November. At 5-10-2, the Devils are just one spot out of the Eastern Conference basement, with only the hapless Islanders keeping them from the bottom. A -23 goal differential is the second worst in the entire NHL.
Like the Bruins, the Devils have battled injuries this year, but are getting healthier, with one notable exception. Anton Volchenkov, Brian Rolston and Martin Brodeur have all missed significant time with injuries, but are back in the lineup. The Devils will, however, be without the services of Zach Parise, who is on injured reserve, and won't be seen until February, at the earliest.
This is the second meeting this year between these two. The Bruins scored a dominating 4-1 win back on October 16. In that game, Jordan Caron scored his first pro tally, beating the living legend Brodeur, and the Bruins got goals from all four lines, and Tim Thomas turned away 31 of 32 shots.
The Bruins have alternated goalies in the last four games, so if that holds, Tuukka Rask would get the start. With the Bruins in the midst of a schedule that sees them play 17 games in 31 days, it makes sense to make sure both Rask and Thomas are getting work.
- David Krejci skated with the team during Sunday's practice, centering the Lucic/Horton line briefly. He is getting close to a return to action, but likely will not go against the Devils. Johnny Boychuk will probably be back next weekend, and will not play against the Devils. No timetable yet on Marco Sturm or Marc Savard, for that matter.
- The Bruins have given up the opening goal in each of the last five games, so they'll be looking for a better start than they've had lately.
- Jason Arnott, not Ilya Kovalchuk, leads the Devils in scoring, with 6 goals on the year. Patrik Elias is the team leader in assists (9) and points (11). Colin White and Travis Zajac are the only two Devils that have played more than half the season and have a positive plus/minus.
- Jamie Langenbrunner missed Friday's game with a head injury. No word yet on whether he will suit up in this contest.
- Today's obligatory embarrassing New Jersey Devils
Okay, you've probably already seen it, but still...
- The puck drops at 7:00 pm. The game will be televised on NESN. Those out of the New England market can catch it on MSG+. 98.5 will have the radio call, and the Public Skate Thread will open at 6:30.
- For more on the game, head over to In Lou We Trust.