The Jaromir Jagr era in Boston begins tonight as the Bruins welcome the New Jersey Devils in a potential playoff preview at the TD Garden.
While the B’s are fresh off a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night, the victory might have come at a cost. Patrice Bergeron suffered a moderate concussion during the second period and is out indefinitely. On the positive side, the top line continued its hot streak as Nathan Horton scored in his fourth straight game (the game-winner), while David Krejci also lit the lamp.
Along with Jagr, former Senator Kaspars Daugavins, who was claimed on waivers last week by Peter Chiarelli, will also debut for tonight skating alongside Jay Pandolfo and Rich Peverley. Bruins fans might remember Daugavins as the player who tried the ridiculous shootout move in Ottawa on Tuukka Rask a few weeks ago.
The Devils are holding on for dear life to the final spot in the Eastern Conference right now with a 15-12-9 record (39 points). They are 3-3-4 in their last 10 games and have a pedestrian 5-6-7 record away from Newark’s Prudential Center.
This will be the second of three meetings between the two teams. The Bruins won the previous meeting in a shootout on a goal by Brad Marchand back in January.
The Devils will still be without the talented Ilya Kovalchuk, who is out with a shoulder injury.
Gametime: 7 p.m.
Location: TD Garden
TV/Radio: NESN Plus (click on the link for local listings)/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins (23-8-4, 50 points) Devils (15-12-9, 39 points)
Bruins’ projected lines
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Tyler Seguin-Jaromir Jagr
Jay Pandolfo-Rich Peverley-Kaspars Daugavins
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference-Matt Bartkowski
Devils’ projected lines
Dainius Zubrus-Travis Zajac-David Clarkson
Patrik Elias-Andrei Loktionov-Steve Bernier
Alexei Ponikarovsky-Adam Henrique-Matt D’Agostini
Ryan Carter-Stephen Gionta-Tom Kostopoulous
Bryce Salvador-Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene-Mark Fayne
Henrik Tallinder-Peter Harrold
Bruins to watch
Well Bruins fans, you guessed it. Let’s keep an eye on the newest member of the Black and Gold, Jaromir Jagr.
Jagr was acquired in a trade prior to the deadline to help bolster the Bruins roster with his skill and toughness. In 34 games with the Dallas Stars, Jagr compiled 14 goals and 12 assists, including six power-play goals. It’s safe to say that Bruins fans will be looking for similar results in their last 13 games of the regular season.
Having scored in four straight games, Horton is starting to get his swagger back. Horton, who’s 12 goals on the year is now tied for third on the team along with Tyler Seguin, is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Assuming he hears a few more woo’s this season, its safe to assume that he’ll be looking for a raise.
Devils to watch
Patrik Elias, who has 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 36 games, is someone who seems to give the Bruins a fit. With Kovalchuk out, Elias will need to pick up the slack against a Bruins defense that has seen their share of struggles this season.
David Clarkson is another Devil to keep tabs on. He leads his team in goals (12), power play tallies (5) and penalty minutes (58) has fired 134 shots on goal, which is good for fourth in the NHL. With those totals, no wonder why many say Clarkson has a pedigree similar to Milan Lucic’s.
Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com discusses the options the Bruins will have with Jagr in their lineup tonight .
Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston explains what the Bruins received in their new defenseman Wade Redden with their trade with the St. Louis Blues.
A reminder to register on Eventbrite for the Bruins viewing party this Saturday night.
Dan Rice of The Hockey Writers asks if the Devils are ready for the home stretch.
Tweets of interest
Some good news on the Chris Kelly front as he will travel with the team to Montreal on Saturday night (via @NHLBruins)
Coach added that Kelly will practice tomorrow and travel to Montreal with the team and then “we’ll go from there”^CS
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 4, 2013
Our own Mark Marino has a new member to his family. Congratulations to Mark and his wife, Leanne from everyone at Bruins Daily.
— Bruins Daily (@BruinsDaily) April 4, 2013