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Preview; Bruins return home to deal with the Devils

March 22, 2011

After a dreadful seven game stretch the Bruins will return home to face the Devils. The Bruins now have just one win in their last seven contests and look to get back on the right track with a three-game home stand. The Bruins will finish the final 11 games of the season with eight home games. The Bruins have managed just one point on the road in their last five contests. With a ton of home games coming down the stretch the Bruins need to make home-ice count.

The Devils historic second half has kept the Devils playoff hopes alive but they need to turn it on again if they want to sneak in. The Devils were winning at a .875 clip for a lot of their second half and they need to reclaim that lofty winning percentage if they want to get in. The Devils are seven points out with ten games left. It’s not looking good but don’t tell New Jersey that. These guys believe that they can get in.

The Bruins are coming off of an ugly 5-2 loss to the Leafs in which they gave up goals to unexpected contributors. Tuukka Rask showed his frustration with the defense when he showed up Dennis Seidenberg who screened him. It seems like the team is looking at others to step up instead of taking on the feat on an individual level. In their last seven games the Bruins have given up 26 goals. Tim Thomas has hit a funk of late but fingers also point to the defenses recent struggles, especially on rushes.

The Devils are coming off of a 3-0 win against the Blue Jackets in which Martin Brodeur had to make only 13 saves. The Devils defensive system is notorious for not allowing offenses to get comfortable and that’s been a big key to their reclamation. The Devils haven’t allowed more than three goals in a game in their last 20 games. The odd thing is that the Devils offense is the worst in the league this season, averaging just 2.07 GPG. They’re typically in close games but have the talent to score big goals late in the game.

The Bruins are now just one point up on the Canadiens and it’s most likely that the two will meet in the playoffs. Whoever wins the division will have the always pivotal home-ice advantage. Determining that begins tonight.

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