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Devils-Bruins Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Devils-Bruins Preview
New Jersey Devils vs. Boston Bruins

AP-- After struggling to win at all in October, the Boston Bruins haven't just won all of their games in November - they've dominated them.

Tyler Seguin is a big reason why.

Having put aside a rocky beginning to their Stanley Cup title defense, Seguin and the Bruins go for a sixth consecutive victory Tuesday night when they host the New Jersey Devils.

Boston appeared to have a bit of a championship hangover during the season's first month with three wins in 10 games. However, since losing three straight to close October, the Bruins (8-7-0) have won all five of their games in impressive fashion.

They've scored at least five times in each of them, and the last four were decided by three goals or more.

"It's pretty to watch," Tim Thomas said after making 21 saves in a 6-2 win over Buffalo on Saturday. "As a goalie, it's OK to sit back and watch your team play like that sometimes. You've just got to be ready if it comes back your way.

"We've seen some beautiful plays."

Many of them have been from Seguin, the NHL's reigning first star of the week. The 19-year-old center has scored in four straight games - he has seven goals in that span - and carries a six-game point streak into Tuesday.

"Right now I'm burying most of my opportunities," Seguin said.

He's needed just 15 games to match his 11-goal total from his entire 2010-11 rookie season, including a league-best 10 since Oct. 19. Seguin emerged from the weekend leading the NHL with a plus-14 rating.

"He's playing with a lot more confidence. He's making things happen," said defenseman Zdeno Chara.

While Seguin leads Boston with 20 points, Milan Lucic is next with 14 and will be available after it appeared possible he would be suspended. Lucic received no further discipline from the NHL following a hearing Monday after his charging penalty for leveling Ryan Miller on Saturday left the Buffalo netminder with a concussion.

New Jersey (8-6-1) hopes one of its key players returns Tuesday, as Ilya Kovalchuk could be back after missing four games with a lower-body injury.

The Devils have done fine without him, winning three of those games and four of five overall, but they continue to struggle offensively. The only team to score fewer goals than their 33 is the New York Islanders (29).

Patrik Elias has a seven-game point streak but is the only New Jersey player to have reached double digits in points - Boston has six.

The Devils may have more trouble scoring if Thomas is in the Bruins' net.

Thomas has yet to allow more than three goals in a game, and he's done so only once in 16 career starts versus the Devils. He was brilliant in winning all three of his starts against them last season, allowing two goals.

New Jersey has been limited to six goals in its last five trips to Boston and was outscored 7-1 in losing both visits last season.

However, the Devils enter this matchup on a high note, having rallied from a two-goal deficit in a 3-2 shootout victory at Washington on Saturday.

"It would have been easy to sit back, but the group of guys around here don't give up," said center Ryan Carter, whose first goal of the season tied the game with 1:06 to play.

It was the first of five consecutive road games for the Devils, who have won five of six contests decided after regulation.

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 01 '12 NJD 3 at BOS 4 - OT D. Krejci
Jan 19 '12 BOS 4 at NJD 1 N. Horton
Jan 04 '12 BOS 6 at NJD 1 N. Horton
Nov 15 '11 NJD 3 at BOS 4 B. Pouliot
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Elias166915+0820
Z. Parise165510-4610
I. Kovalchuk11279-4211
D. Zubrus16448-2411
A. Henrique13448+1002
P. Sykora16358-11600
D. Clarkson16516-53910
N. Palmieri16336-51200
M. Fayne16235+1600
A. Greene14055+1000
A. Larsson16123-5800
M. Tedenby16033-3400
B. Salvador16022-2200
A. Volchenkov16022-7800
R. Carter16101-71000
B. Mills16011-41100
H. Tallinder16011-5400
J. Josefson5011+1200
C. Janssen13000-1900
R. Pelley6000+0200
E. Boulton4000-11900
V. Zharkov3000+0000
M. Fraser2000-1900
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Hedberg116-4-1273152.45.914
M. Brodeur62-3-0161333.02.880
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
T. Seguin1611920+15813
M. Lucic168614+62420
B. Marchand166713+103520
P. Bergeron1631013+10610
Z. Chara1611213+103110
N. Horton165611-12821
C. Kelly165510+91101
R. Peverley144610+2410
D. Krejci13358-3200
J. Corvo16088+3200
J. Boychuk16235+71401
A. Ference14055+3400
G. Campbell16134+22800
S. Thornton16123-13400
J. Caron11123+0400
D. Seidenberg16033+21200
D. Paille13202-1001
B. Pouliot11202-2401
A. McQuaid11022+31100
S. Kampfer4011+4000
Z. Hamill2011+3200
M. Bartkowski3000-2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
T. Thomas127-4-0233142.09.927
T. Rask52-3-0131412.63.908