New Jersey Devils (3-0-1) @ Boston Bruins (4-0-1)
The Devils visit the TD Bank Garden tonight as the Devils and Bruins, the last two Eastern Conference teams without a regulation loss square off.
Let’s not beat around the bush. This is not an easy game the Devils are facing tonight. By making that statement, I am not taking away from what the Devils have accomplished so far this season. Much like the Bruins, the Devils have picked up a point in each of their games played this season but Boston is probably the best team we’ve seen so far in this short season. The defense has been good, their goaltending has been up to the task and they’ve been pumping pucks into the opposition’s goal. Boston is the only team left in the NHL to be perfect on their Penatly Kill, having killed off all 23 opportunities handed to the opposition.
The Bruins have won four in a row and eight of the past nine games against New Jersey. They've also put together a four-game home winning streak during that stretch. This the first of three meetings this season.
The Devils Last Game: They got off to another slow start and found themselves in a 2-0 hole before Elias redirected a puck in the net to cut the deficit in half. In the third, Montreal got that goal back for a 3-1 lead but the Devils didn’t give up and got a PP goal from Clarkson and then a goal from Zubrus to even the score at 3. A bad call in the OT period game the Habs a PP which they put home and skated away with a 4-3 OT win.
The Bruins Last Game: They quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead last night in Carolina. The found themselves up 3-1 in the second before they gave up 2 quick goals before the end of the period. Krejci scored with 1:50 left in the 3rd and Seguin put home an empty netter to seal the victory. Even though the score was close, the game really wasn’t and the Bruins controlled most of the play.
Tonight’s Game: We haven’t been getting off to very good starts and at 3-0-1, that hasn’t really hurt us with maybe the Montreal game being the exception. Boston is a tough team to battle back against so a good start is an important key tonight.
Boston is perfect on the PK so I don’t have a lot of hope with our PP tonight. Of course, 1 PP goal against a team not used to giving them up can make a PK unit crumble.
Patrick Elias has the hot hand as he has 2 goals and 3 assists over the last 2 games. David Clarkson and Ilya Kovalcuk have points in every game this season, so I would expect Boston to concentrate on those three tonight.
Johan Hedburg gets the call tonight, which is probably a good thing because the Bruins have beat Martin Brodeur in his last three outings in Boston posting a 3.29 goals-against average.
Tonight’s Lines: Tedenby was sent to Albany and Anderson, not Butler was called up. Looks like Janssen will sit tonight as will Larsson. Looks like Matteau will get another shot on the top line in what will be his 5th game this season. Many wondering if this will be Matteau’s last game as the Devils must make a decision on him prior to Thursday’s game.
Sorry kid... your Bruins actually winning something is SOOOO 2011.
Chat with us during the game via Twitter and come back after the game for our recap. The Devils play a lot of hockey in the next 6 days so let’s hope we get a good start tonight.