The Bruins play host to the New Jersey Devils tonight at the TD Garden in game number four of a five game home-stand that concludes Thursday against the Blue Jackets. The Bruins enter tonight winners of their last five. Jersey rides into Boston winning in four of their last five including a win in their previous game, a 3-2 shootout win over the Washington Capitals.
The Bruins (8-7-0) and the Devils (8-6-1) are two defensive minded teams who are both good at limiting the other team’s offensive production, so don’t expect tons of scoring in this one.
Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m.
TV: NESN Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
2010-11 Season Series: Bruins 3-1
Expected Goalies: Tim Thomas vs. Johan Hedberg
What to watch for Bruins:
Daniel Pallie full cage and all returned to the ice for the Bruins yesterday and took part in the Bruins morning skate. Pallie missed the previous two games after suffering a broken nose from a Steve Staios slap shot against the Islanders a week ago. Pallie has two points on the season, both goals. If Pallie is unavailable to go, Beniot Pouliot will be in the line-up once again.
Both Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask left the morning skate at the same time today so no one really knows who will be in net for the B’s tonight. Thomas’ life time numbers against the Devils lead me to believe the reigning Vezina winner will be between the pipes. Despite a 7-5-3 record against Jersey, Thomas carries a 2.18 goals against average against the Devils. In three starts against them last season Thomas was 3-0 allowing just two goals.
After a slow start to the season, Nathan Horton has seemed to finally find his game again. Horton has six points (3 goals) in his last six games. Horton is one of many Bruins who have turned their play on of late. The often smiling Horton is one to keep an eye on tonight.
What to watch for Devils:
It looks the Devils won’t get back 100 million dollar man Ilya Kovalchuk for tonight’s game. The talented sniper has missed the Devils last four games after suffering a leg injury in a game against the Flyers earlier this month. Kovalchuk has just two goals in 11 games, but is second on the team in scoring with nine points.
Patrick Elias has by far been the best Devils forward this season. In 15 games this season, the five-time NHL All-Star has notched 15 points including six goals, and carries a seven-game point-streak into tonight’s contest.
After picking up the win Saturday night, the Devils are coming back with Johan Hedberg as their starting goalie, leaving future Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur on the bench. Hedberg is 6-3-1 on the season with a 2.29 goals against average. Hedberg is 4-8-1 lifetime against the Bruins.
Bruins gameday links:
Jesse Connolly of the New England Hockey Journal takes a look back at the wild year Brad Marchand has had with the Bruins
Comcast Sportsnet New England’s Joe Haggerty thinks the Bruins should accept the Villians role.
Devils gameday links:
Devils’ power play has been powerless without Kovalchuk in the lineup. (Steve Palumbo/rantsports.com)
John Fischer of inlouwetrust.com takes a look at tonight’s match-up