NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 18th (All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (46-17-5) at New Jersey Devils (29-26-13), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Veteran Jarome Iginla has put a slow start behind him to become one of the Boston Bruins' most consistent scoring threats. The forward will try to lead his club to a 10th straight win on Tuesday night in a road matchup with the New Jersey Devils.
Iginla, in his first season with the Bruins, did not score a goal in his first eight games and had scored just five times going into December. However, the 36-year-old has recently gotten hot with 12 goals and 26 points over his past 19 games and now leads Boston with 25 goals on the season.
Iginla has five goals over his last three games, scoring twice in Monday's 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. That effort came in his 1,300th NHL game and gave him 555 goals over his career.
Reilly Smith added his first tally in 16 games, Loui Eriksson also scored and Tuukka Rask made 33 saves as the Bruins extended their longest winning streak since a 10-game span from Nov. 1-23, 2011.
Boston has allowed just one goal in each of its last four games.
"We've played some really good games and then we've played some OK games," said Rask. "It's a sign of a good team when you win when you don't play at your best. And I think we've just found a way to win most nights."
The Bruins have build a 16-point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division and also are five points in front of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the most in the East.
After taking all three games of a recent homestand, the Bruins will play three straight on the road looking to extend an 11-game point streak as the guest (8-0-3).
It is unknown if Rask will start again tonight or if backup Chad Johnson will face the Devils for the first time. Rask is 3-2-2 with a 1.44 goals against average and two shutouts in eight career meetings (6 starts) with New Jersey.
New Jersey is being led by its own veterans in the 42-year-old Jaromir Jagr and 41-year-old netminder Martin Brodeur. Jagr leads the Devils with 58 points off 22 goals and 36 assists, while Brodeur is set to make his 34th appearance of the season tonight.
With Devils netminder Cory Schneider having allowed 15 goals over a personal three-game slide, Brodeur got the start on Saturday versus the Lightning and posted 29 saves in a 3-0 loss.
New Jersey lost the final two of a three-game road trip and kicks off a five- game homestand having won eight of its past 11 at home. The Devils do so five points behind a wild card spot in the East.
"We have to move on and try to win some games," said Brodeur, who came up with a stop on a second-period penalty shot. "If we lose much more we're going to have to rely on other teams and that's not something you want to happen."
The Devils netted a pair of power-play goals in the final 68 seconds of a 4-3 win over the hosting Bruins back on Oct. 26. That snapped a seven-game series losing streak to Boston and was just their second win over the club in the previous 13 meetings.
Marek Zidlicky tied the game with 1:08 remaining while the Devils were skating 6-on-3 and Andy Greene scored the game-winner on a 5-on-4 advantage with 44.1 seconds left.
Boston has won three straight and five of its past six in New Jersey.
Brodeur is 25-22-10 with a 2.58 GAA and four shutouts in his career versus the Bruins, making 25 saves in the October victory.
03/18 10:39:39 ET