The Boston Bruins (25-9-4) are in Newark, New Jersey on Wednesday night to take on the New Jersey Devils (15-14-10) and both teams would like to come out with a win, but for very different reasons.
With a win over the Devils, the Bruins can take over first place of the Northeast Division and put themselves on pace to lockup a top-3 seed in the Eastern Conference. They will be without the services of Patrice Bergeron (concussion) and Adam McQuaid (strained shoulder), so the Bruins will once again have their depth challenged. Which shouldn’t be the problem with the help of some recent additions and the return of Chris Kelly from a broken tibia.
The Bruins also mixed up their lines last game after their offense had gone stale and it worked to perfection as they ripped off 6-goals over a disappointing Carolina Hurricanes team.
The lines are projected to be the same for tonight’s game according to CSNNE.com’s Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty and they are as follows:
I know these lines look weird, but they spread the Bruins talent out more evenly and allow them to roll 4-lines like they are accustomed too. For most of the season the Bruins have been a two and occasionally a three line team, but thats not their style at all. They rely on their depth and the ability to roll 4-lines, so when one line is struggling it brings the whole team down.
The new look Bruins will have their hands full however with a Devils team that is attempting to scratch and claw its way into the playoffs. New Jersey has lost seven games in a row since their star forward Ilya Kovalchuk went down and it appears as though they will be without him once again tonight.
Even with all those losses in a row, the Devils still only find themselves 2-points out of a possible playoff spot and should be playing like the desperate team they are when they take to the ice.
The Bruins have won 10 of their last 11 meetings against the Devils, including two wins versus them this season and will look to improve upon that record when the puck drops at 7:30 PM EST on the NBC Sports Network.