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Game Preview #21: New Jersey Devils vs. Boston Bruins

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The Devils are back in New Jersey to take on a struggling Boston Bruins at The Rock.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Minnesota Wild
Let's see Moore goals from the Devils tonight.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

A quarter of the way through.

The Matchup: New Jersey Devils (12-5-3) versus the Boston Bruins (8-7-4). SBN Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder.

The Time: 7:00 PM EST

The Broadcast: MSG+2

Response: I made a section about Adam Henrique in the last game preview about his “demotion” to the “fourth line” with Blake Coleman and Brian Gibbons. He played 16:59, got a goal of sorts, and made two perfect passes to set up goals for Will Butcher and John Moore. Henrique responded perfectly, playing like he had a renewed purpose for much of the game.

Injuries: On the Boston end, Bruce Cassidy told that the team will be missing Brad Marchand, Torey Krug, Anders Bjork and Adam McQuaid - so the team will be missing some key contributors when they play the New Jersey Devils tonight.

To Start or Not to Start?: Tuukka Rask comes into the game with a 3-7-2 record with a .897 save percentage and a 2.89 goals against average. Anton Khudobin comes into the game with a 5-0-2 record, .935 save percentage, and 2.17 goals against average. If the Bruins want to win, I think they need to let go of the past and consider whether Rask is simply as good as he used to be. Khudobin might be unusually hot, which complicates the situation even more. With Krug and McQuaid out, the Bruins might have a tough time on defense against the Devils.

Key to Tonight: Speed, speed, and more speed. The Bruins are a somewhat low event team, and their top defenseman, Zdeno Chara, has lost a step or two over the years. I want to see the Devils trying to use their speed to stretch the ice - especially when Chara is on. If the Devils can keep the puck moving towards their offensive zone enough to not allow the Bruins sustained zone time, they will win the game.

No Practice: The Devils had no practice yesterday, as they were still traveling back to New Jersey. Thus, there are no practice lines to go off of for tonight. I would assume that John Hynes continues to make changes, as the second line didn't really play all that much last game. For example, Travis Zajac was only on the ice for 11:57 against Minnesota. If I have any predictions for the lines tonight, I think Pavel Zacha, Zajac, and Jesper Bratt will be at least partially broken up.

Your Take: What are your thoughts on tonight's game? Do you want to see any changes from Minnesota? What do you think of the Boston Bruins this year? Do you think they can still turn it around, or are they in a state of flux that will make it too difficult to overcome? Leave your thoughts below.