NEWARK, NJ - The Bruins hit the ice for pregame skate this morning prior to their first and only game of the season at the Prudential Center. The B’s have taken the past six from New Jersey, including two of three games so far this season, a 2-1 shootout win back on January 29, and 1-0 shutout just last Thursday on April 4.
Boston has won its past four of five, while the Devils have lost seven straight and are trying to avoid going winless in eight consecutive games for the first time in 21 years.
With yesterday’s travel day to New Jersey (and no scheduled practice), the B’s held a longer morning skate, with Coach’s staple battling drills towards the end of the session and all Bruins taking part.
With Adam McQuaid traveling with the team for the first time since suffering his shoulder strain back on the Canadian road trip in March, the B’s had nine defensemen on the ice, along with 14 forwards and both goaltenders.
The only Bruin now missing from practices is alternate captain Patrice Bergeron, as he recovers from a concussion. B’s GM Peter Chiarelli offered some positive news earlier this morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub, saying that Patrice was working out and “on his road to recovery; it’s looking good.” (For more on that, look for the Bergeron update on BostonBruins.com)
During full-ice rushes, lines looked intact from Monday night’s 6-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, in which B’s erupted for the largest output all season, and marked the second time in just 12 games that Boston had scored more than three goals (B’s scored five in a 6-5 SO loss to Montreal on March 27 at TD Garden).
Drawing on the positive of the renewed offensive output, the Bruins are looking to find their complete game in the last 10-game stretch before the playoffs, by shoring up defensive coverage (namely, correcting puck mismanagement in their own zone and not allowing so many shots in on their goaltenders) and upping the intensity.
“I think that’s been of one of our main focuses - at times, it’s there, but I think we need to, for these next 10 games, we have to really battle for these games,” said forward Daniel Paille, or “Gameday Paille,” always willing to give an interview in the locker room.
“We come out and I think we want to show that we’re consistent going forward towards the end of the season.”
Following the pregame skate, Coach Julien confirmed that Anton Khudobin would be starting in goal tonight against New Jersey. If Dobby does indeed get the call, it would mark his first career appearance against the Devils. He is 8-3-0 this season for the Bruins in 11 games, with a 2.07 GAA and .929 save percentage.
Boston Projected Lineup:
Game-time tonight is 7:30 p.m. ET.
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub // TV: NBC Sports Network (exclusive, as its one of their “Rivalry Night” games)
-Caryn Switaj ^CS