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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins at Devils

    Game Day Previews

    Game Day Preview: Bruins at Devils

    Tim Rosenthal March 29, 2016

    Six games left and the Bruins still have plenty of work to do in order for them to reach the postseason. Four of their next six are against teams who are currently outside of the top eight in the Eastern Conference. One of those opponents, the New Jersey Devils, await the Black and Gold tonight in Newark.

    Claude Julien and company will be without the services of Ryan Spooner (undisclosed) and John-Michael Liles (lower body injury). Loui Eriksson will slot in as the third line center for Spooner while Joe Morrow will take Liles’ spot alongside Dennis Seidenberg for the second straight game.

    The Bruins already proved they can beat the Devils without some key cogs, though. In their 4-1 victory during the second meeting of the year back on January 8, the Bruins were without the services of Brad Marchand (serving the final game of his three-game suspension for clipping Sens defenseman Mark Borowiecki) and David Krejci, who was on injured reserve at the time.

    Two teams are still nipping at the Bruins’ heels for one of the final playoff spots in the East. Two crucial points are on the line again tonight for the Black and Gold.

    Gametime: 7:00 p.m.
    TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
    Records: Bruins 40-28-8 (88 points), Devils 36-32-8 (80 points)
    Location: Prudential Center

    Bruins projected lines

    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Lee Stempniak
    Matt Beleskey-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
    Frank Vatrano-Loui Eriksson-Jimmy Hayes
    Landon Ferraro-Noel Acciari-Brett Connolly

    Zdeno Chara-Kevan Miller
    Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
    Joe Morrow-Dennis Seidenberg

    Tuukka Rask
    Jonas Gustavsson

    Devils projected lines

    Joseph Blandisi-Adam Henrique-Devante Smith-Pelly
    Reid Boucher-Travis Zajac-Kyle Palmieri
    Blake Pietila-Sergey Kalinin-Mike Sislo
    Bobby Farnham-Stephen Gionta-Tuomo Ruutu

    Andy Greene-Adam Larsson
    John Moore-Damon Severson
    Seth Helgeson-David Warsofsky

    Scott Wedgewood
    Keith Kinkaid

    Matchup to watch: Stempniak vs. (another) former team

    Bruins at Devils

    Former Devils forward Lee Stempniak has seven points in 13 games since joining the Bruins. (Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily)

    Prior to the trade deadline, Stempniak was the leading scorer for a Devils team that surprised a few by still hovering around a playoff spot at the time. On February 29th, he was traded to his ninth team.

    Since arriving in Boston, Stempniak has fit in nicely on the top line with Bergeron and Marchand — a spot that was previously held by a rotation of Brett Connolly, Frank Vatrano and Jimmy Hayes (to name a few). The former University of Dartmouth standout has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 13 games with his new club. His energy and scoring touch have been a good addition to the dynamic Bergeron-Marchand duo.

    With pivotal games ahead, Stempniak is a proverbial X-factor in the Black and Gold’s chase for the playoffs. He could be in for a big night against another former team of his in Game No. 76 of 2015-16.

    Storyline to watch: The ongoing playoff race

    Bruins at Devils

    In order to return to the playoffs, the Bruins will need Tuukka Rask to play his best hockey of the season during the next six games. (Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily)

    With the Flyers and Red Wings victorious last night over the Jets and Sabres, respectively, they both pulled back within one point of the Bruins. The Red Wings are back in action tonight against another team who’s playoff hopes have been long gone, the Canadiens. Tomorrow, the Flyers host a Capitals team that has already clinched the Presidents Trophy with their win over the lowly Blue Jackets.

    Later this week, the Bruins travel to St. Louis and Chicago. A win before heading out to the midwest will, at least, give them some confidence. In an up and down year, they could use some help from the Habs and Caps over the next 48 hours.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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