The Bruins are out on a mini road trip, facing the New Jersey Devils for the first night of a back-to-back to wrap up the series against them this season. It will be broadcast on NESN, MSG+, and SportsNet-Philly, on the radio on 98.5 the Sports Hub, and streaming on NHL.tv.
Last time in Bruins Hockey…
The Bruins were playing the Sabres, at home, the Bruins scored first, but did not follow up right away. They drew a power play, were not able to capitalize on that, but did draw another penalty with 1 second remaining. Unfortunately, they lost the ensuing faceoff, allowing the man exiting the box to immediately receive a stretch pass in the neutral zone. Riley Sheahan would score on this 1-on-0 rush. Fortunately, the Bruins would continue to dominate the game, winning by 6-2.
The Bruins are now at 30-14-6 which still has them at 4th in the MassMutual East division, 5 points behind the Penguins, 3 behind the Caps, 1 back from the Isles, and 8 ahead of the Rangers.
They are also 3rd in the division via points percentage with a total of .660, placing them marginally ahead of the Islanders.
Boston has 6 games remaining in the season, including today’s match. The other division contenders have only 4 or 5. Each team in the division has a game tonight. The Rags have 4 games remaining to make up the 8 point gap with the Bruins. They can reach a maximum of 66 standings points and 29 ROW if they win out. The Bruins have 66 standings points and 26 ROW, so they need to win or tie a game to clinch a playoff spot. A Rags loss – either in regulation or OT – would eliminate them from the playoffs, clinching it for the Bruins. The Bruins & Rangers play 2x more this season, on Thursday & Saturday of this week.
What will be the lines today?
Well there is still a little movement with the forward lines.
The Injury Report: Ondrej Kaše is skating, Brandon Carlo is almost ready to return to play after a long injury recovery. He’s almost certainly out tonight, but is expected to play tomorrow. Mike Reilly is getting a maintenance day. Jakub Zboril will be in for him.
Kevan Miller has been getting lightly loaded to manage his knee, but in lieu of Carlo’s presense, he will play tonight.
Cliffy Hockey is out, ushering the return of Steven Kampfer.
Charlie Coyle will again play at wing with Sean Kuraly at center. Nick Ritchie will play on the left wing of the 3rd line. Jake DeBrusk will reprise his role on the 4th line, and Karson Kuhlman looked good last game and will play in Wagner’s stead, giving the mayor an extra maintenance day.
Tuukka Rask will be in net tonight, with Jaroslav Halak as his backup.
Jeremy Swayman gets the day off.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
Tonight’s opponent are the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have been hovering around the bottom of the division at 17-27-7, with a points percentage below .500. However, they have given the Bruins fits this season.
This will be the 7th meeting between these teams this season, with the Devils winning 4 of 6, only losing the two in the shoot-out. The Devils have won 3 of their last 6 games. They have traded Sami Vatanen, Dmitry Kulikov, Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri since the teams last met.
(h/t Daily Faceoff and Devils’ team reporter Amanda Stein)
#59 Janne Kuokkanen — #86 Jack Hughes — #38 Yegor Sharangovich
#37 Pavel Zacha — #13 Nico Hischier — #63 Jesper Bratt
#24 A.J. Greer — #90 Jesper Boqvist — #39 Nicholas Merkley
#44 Miles Wood — #20 Michael McLeod — #14 Nathan Bastian
#22 Ryan Murray — #28 Damon Severson
#8 Will Butcher — #5 Connor Carrick
#88 Kevin Bahl — #24 Ty Smith
#41 Scott Wedgewood
(#29 Mackenzie Blackwood)