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Preview: Bruins open back-to-back set against the Devils

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The Bruins have a chance to clinch the last playoff spot in the East tonight.

NHL: MAR 30 Devils at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7:00 PM

Where: Prudential Center – Newark, NJ

How to follow: NESN, SNW, SNP, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: All About The Jersey

Know your enemy

  • 17-27-7, 41 points, 7th in the East Division
  • Pavel Zacha: 45GP, 13G, 18A, 31PTS; Jack Hughes: 51GP, 11G, 18A, 29PTS; Yegor Sharangovich: 49GP, 15G, 13A, 28PTS; Jesper Bratt: 41GP, 7G, 21A, 28PTS
  • Mackenzie Blackwood: 12-16-4, 3.08 GAA, .902 save percentage

Game notes

  • The Boston Bruins are 2-3-1 against the New Jersey Devils this season, with two shootout wins. On the road, the Bs are 1-0-1 against them. Each of the six games has been decided either by one-goal or shootouts. The Devils have shut out the Bs twice, both a 1-0 loss.
  • The Bruins haven’t seen the Devils since March 30, in which they beat them 5-4 in the shootout at home. After being down 4-2 to start the third period, the Bruins came back to force overtime and a shootout. Smith had three assists in the B’s win, with Brad Marchand, Nick Ritchie, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk adding tallies. Charlie Coyle and David Pastrnak scored in the shootout.
  • The Devils might be out of playoff contention, but they have found themselves on a three-game win streak after losing ten consecutive games. New Jersey is coming off a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers where they netted a total of 15 goals. They were 50% on their power plays, scoring four on the man-advantage.
  • We know David Krejci and Taylor Hall have been on a hot streak with each other, but the past two games, Craig Smith has cashed in on his line’s chemistry. He was pointless for five games before the Buffalo meetings, but he had been around the puck and on ice for goals, just without the scoreboard credit. Smith has registered multi-points in his last two games. His hat trick game on Sunday was his second three-point night this season. And that prior one was March 30 against the Devils.
  • The B’s top lines have been producing since the trade deadline, but the team is now seeing contributions for the bottom six as well. In the two games since the fourth and third lines were shuffled, those forwards have combined for 25 shots out of the team’s 83 and contributed three goals. Sean Kuraly’s goal was his first in 30 games and Coyle’s was his first in 28 games.
  • Kevan Miller is likely in for tonight and Brandon Carlo in tomorrow, as Bruce Cassidy said the two will each play in separate games in this back-to-back set. Miller has only played one game in back-to-backs to manage his workload. It will be determined by the medical staff which player goes in for each game, but it looks like it will be Miller tonight.
  • Carlo hasn’t played since April 1 as he’s been dealing with an oblique injury. It’s been a rough few months for Carlo. Before his latest two games, Carlo had been out since the March 5 game vs. the Washington Capitals which he ended up with a concussion from a hit by Tom Wilson. This season, he’s appeared in 23 games and registered one goal and two assists and averaged 18:29 minutes per game.
  • The Bruins’ magic number is now down to one point. The New York Islanders clinched their playoff berth on Saturday with a win over the New York Rangers. So - any point in the next six games, or a Rangers’ regulation or overtime loss, will earn the Bs the last playoff spot in the East.

See ya tonight!