Posted April 09, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Few teams have been a more consistent presence in the playoffs than the New Jersey Devils.
Seven straight losses in the final month of the season has put that in serious jeopardy.
The goal-starved Devils look to avoid going winless in eight consecutive games for the first time in 21 years Wednesday night when they host the Boston Bruins.
New Jersey has participated in 15 of the last 16 postseasons, missing out only in 2010-11. That run appeared on its way to continuing with the Devils sitting in seventh place in the Eastern Conference - four points clear of the ninth-place team - on March 24, the day before their losing streak started.
That run of futility has dropped New Jersey (15-14-10) into ninth in the East, two points behind the New York Rangers and Islanders in the race for the final two playoffs spots.
Sunday's 3-2 shootout defeat at Buffalo left the Devils with an 0-3-4 mark during the skid, putting them in danger of going eight straight without a win for the first time since March 6-22, 1992, when they had six losses and two ties.
"It's really concerning that we can't just win. That's the bottom line," goaltender Martin Brodeur said. "We played one of the teams that we should beat, and I thought we deserved to beat them the way we played."
Brodeur has a point considering New Jersey outshot Buffalo 39-26 and outplayed the Sabres for numerous long stretches.
The slide has coincided with the absence of top forward Ilya Kovalchuk, who remains out with a shoulder injury but has begun skating with the team. The Devils have scored 12 goals in the seven games Kovalchuk has missed and converted three of 22 power-play chances.
"We have to find a way to win with the people we've got in the dressing room, and the people I have access to," coach Peter DeBoer said. "We should be able to win with the way we played and some of the things we've done. We should be winning games."
Winning and scoring goals won't get any easier against the Bruins (25-9-4), who have won four of five and allowed six goals in those games. Boston's goaltenders lead the conference with a 2.08 goals-against average and likely starter Tuukka Rask is among the league leaders at 1.95.
Rask turned aside 40 shots in a 1-0 win over New Jersey on Thursday and is 3-1-1 with a 0.95 GAA and two shutouts in five career starts in this series.
Brodeur is 0-6-2 with a 3.09 GAA in his last eight starts against Boston, which has won six straight and 10 of 11 meetings with the Devils.
Also struggling offensively lately, Boston posted a season high in goals with a 6-2 victory over Carolina on Monday. Brad Marchand scored twice and Rask stopped 40 shots as the Bruins moved a point behind Montreal in the Northeast Division.
"As of late we haven't scored a lot of goals in games," Marchand said. "It's nice to come into our (locker) room after a good offensive game."
It was just the second time in 12 games that Boston scored more than three goals and the other came in a 6-5 shootout loss to Montreal on March 27.
The Bruins have scored two goals or fewer in eight straight road contests, losing six.
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Offensive catalyst Ilya Kovalchuk skated with the Devils for the first time since injuring his right shoulder more than two weeks ago and hopes to return soon to the struggling New Jersey lineup.
Kovalchuk would not set a timetable for his return, but coach Peter DeBoer said the Russian star probably will play before he is fully recovered.
The Devils are winless in seven games...
Volchenkov received 5 for elbowing, a 10 and game misconduct.
Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddCordell. With just nine games remaining in the 2012-13 campaign, the New Jersey Devils are on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture looking in. As it stands, the Devils are 9th in the Eastern Conference and are two points behind the New York Rangers and New York Islanders respectively with the same amount of games remaining. Based on current pro...
There’s no other way to describe what Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov did to Brad Marchand on Wednesday night than to say it was downright dirty.
Volchenkov dropped Marchand with a high elbow to the head 15:11 into the second period of the Devils-Bruins game in New Jersey on Wednesday night. The hit left Marchand a little woozy, and the Bruins forward eventually fell to the...
As we’ve mentioned before, the L.A. Kings have one of the best social media teams in all of sports. Despite constant scrutiny, the Kings’ twitter feed continues to take jabs and troll other teams and their fans. Tonight, the New Jersey Devils were the latest victims after the Kings tweeted them the following message with this link attached. The Devils are typically more conservative...
This is a dirty, bush-league hit and it’s a violation of the NHL’s rule 48. The Head is targeted; it’s pretty cut and dried. I am going to be very surprised and disappointed if Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov isn’t given a 3-4 game suspension for this dirty and unnecessary hit on Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand.
Seriously, there is no defending this hit. I don’t...
It's not often you see a team skate a mediocre game and win by a four goal margin. The Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricans 6-2 in a game thats easy to write off, Carolina is awful without Ward. Now the Bruins face a team that are an actual threat to them. A team similiar to themselves. The Devils.
The last time the two teams faced off only one goal was scored and it was by newly...
Photo courtesy of the Devils’ official website
By Kristin Tullo (@K_Tullo)
The New Jersey Devils are both two points away from joining 16 teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and two points away from falling into 11th and increasing their odds of joining the other 14 teams for the first-overall draft pick in June. So with the clock ticking on their fate, it may not be too early to...
Brendan Shanahan explains why no supplemental discipline was handed out on these types of hits.
Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddCordell.
Match-up - Boston Bruins (25-9-4) @ New Jersey Devils (15-14-10)
Road/Home records - 11-7-2 -------------- 10-7-2
TV - NBCSN, TSN2
Puck drop - 7:30 PM ET
Season series - Bruins lead 2-0
Last 10: Bruins 6-3-1 / Devils 2-4-4
Projected starting goalies - Anton Khodubin (TOR) vs. Martin Brodeur (NJ)
Battle of the stats
Goals for/against per game...
Before the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, the preseason favorites for the Vezina Trophy were two-time reigning winner Dominik Hasek, perennial contenders (and past winners) Patrick Roy and Ed Belfour. Other widely recognized contenders included Mike Richter, a rising young New Jersey Devils star named Martin Brodeur and Vancouver starter Kirk MacLean. Toronto's Felix Potvin...