hockey | nhl

Boston Bruins vs. New Jersey Devils Pick & Prediction MAY 4TH 2021

FinishedTV: NESN | Sportsnet | MSGPrudential Center Newark

43Boston Bruins
44New Jersey Devils

OP
0
5.5
CU
-1.5 +110
5.5o -105
ML
220
120
Partials
1 2 3
0 2 1
0 0 0
Score
3
0
Recap

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The Boston Bruins officially clinched a playoff spot Monday night. However, with fewer than 10 days left in the regular season, the jockeying for seeding in the East Division is just beginning.

The visiting Bruins will look to maintain their third-place standing in the East and perhaps inch closer to a top-two spot Tuesday night when they complete a back-to-back set against the New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J.

The Bruins qualified for the playoffs for the fifth straight season and the 12th time in 14 years Monday night, when Tuukka Rask stopped all 20 shots he faced and Nick Ritchie, Patrice Bergeron and Matt Grzelcyk scored a goal apiece in a 3-0 win.

The victory continued a post-trade deadline surge by the Bruins (31-14-6, 68 points), who have won four straight to improve to 10-2-0 since acquiring Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres on April 12.

"I watch how we're winning and how we're playing, and we're winning the right way," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "Guys are preparing themselves for how to play in May and June -- and hopefully July."

The Bruins entered the deadline just four points ahead of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers in the race for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East. At that point, Boston was eight points behind the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins and 10 points behind the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders, who shared first place.

With the Monday win, the Bruins moved ahead of the Islanders (31-16-5, 67 points) into third place, just three points behind the Capitals (33-14-5, 71 points) and Penguins (34-16-3, 71 points). Boston has a game in hand apiece on New York and Washington and two games in hand on Pittsburgh.

Of the top four teams in the East, everyone is scheduled to play Tuesday except the Capitals.

"You look at our division and it's tough and it's tight," Rask said. "There was no room to have slumps, really. We've had our ups and downs, but lately we've kind of found our game and our identity and we've stuck to it. We've got bigger goals in my mind, and we get to go for it again."

The loss Monday snapped a three-game winning streak for the Devils (17-28-7, 41 points). New Jersey, which has four games remaining, hasn't won more than three straight games since opening the 2018-19 season with a four-game winning streak.

While the game remained scoreless until almost the midway point of the second period, the Devils struggled to match the Bruins' intensity. Boston outshot New Jersey 17-4 in the first and had 25 of the first 31 shots before Ritchie scored with 10:52 left in the middle period.

"I think we saw a completely different Bruins team," New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said. "They were ramped up, getting ready for the playoffs and knew they could clinch. Those two top lines have a lot of speed, and the defense has a lot of speed. I just thought they brought their 'A' game."

Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood, who stopped 39 shots, added, "They put the pressure on early and kept us under for the first 10 to 15 minutes. They obviously had a goal and they were attacking it."

--Field Level Media

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GAMES

Last 10

W 70% L 30%
7 3
  • NY Rangers W 0 - 4
  • @New Jersey L 3 - 4
  • @New Jersey W 3 - 0
  • Buffalo W 2 - 6
  • Buffalo W 2 - 5
  • @Pittsburgh W 3 - 1
  • @Pittsburgh L 0 - 1
  • @Buffalo L 4 - 6
  • @Buffalo W 5 - 1
  • @Buffalo W 2 - 0
W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • @NY Islanders W 2 - 1
  • Boston W 3 - 4
  • Boston L 3 - 0
  • @Philadelphia W 4 - 1
  • Philadelphia W 3 - 5
  • Philadelphia W 4 - 6
  • @Philadelphia L 3 - 4
  • @Pittsburgh L 2 - 4
  • @Pittsburgh L 1 - 5
  • @Pittsburgh L 6 - 7

Next Games

  • NY Rangers(05-06-21) W 0 - 4
  • NY Islanders(04-16-21) W 0 - 3
  • @Washington(04-08-21) W 4 - 2
  • @NY Islanders(05-06-21) W 2 - 1
  • @Philadelphia(05-01-21) W 4 - 1

Last Meetings

  • Bruins @ Devils 3-4
  • Bruins @ Devils 3-0
  • Devils @ Bruins 4-5
  • Devils @ Bruins 1-0
  • Devils @ Bruins 1-0
  • Devils @ Bruins 3-2
  • Devils @ Bruins 0-0
  • Bruins @ Devils 1-2
  • Bruins @ Devils 3-2
  • Bruins @ Devils 2-3

Last Injuries

New Jersey Devils

  • Miles Wood

    Upper Body
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Wood missed the last contest due to an upper-body injury, leaving his availability for Saturday's matchup with the Islanders clouded.

  • Mikhail Maltsev

    Undisclosed
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Malstev has sat out of the last three games with an undisclosed injury, and it remains to be seen if he will be in the lineup on Saturday versus the Islanders.

  • Andreas Johnsson

    Undisclosed
    Out indefinitely | out

    Johnsson is sidelined with an unspecified injury, and a timetable for recovery has yet to be established.

  • Ty Smith

    Upper Body
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Smith has been held out of the last two games with an upper-body injury, and it is unclear if he will participate in Saturday's showdown with the Islanders.

  • Ty Smith

    Upper Body
    Out indefinitely | out

    Smith is sidelined with an upper-body injury, and a timetable for return has yet to be established.

  • Janne Kuokkanen

    Undisclosed
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Kuokkanen missed the last contest dealing with an undisclosed issue, and it remains to be seen if he will be in the lineup against the Flyers on Sunday.

Boston Bruins

  • Chris Wagner

    Undisclosed
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Wagner has missed the last four games due to an undisclosed injury, and it is up in the air if he will be in the lineup on Saturday to face the Rangers.

  • Charlie Coyle

    Undisclosed
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Coyle sat out the previous game with an unknown injury, and it is uncertain if he will face the Rangers on Saturday.

  • Brandon Carlo

    Upper Body
    Prob Tues | I-R

    Carlo has been posted to the injured reserve list with an upper-body injury, but he is expected to face the Devils on Tuesday.

  • Jarred Tinordi

    Head
    Out indefinitely | out

    Tinordi is out of commission with a head injury, and a timetable for recovery has yet to be established.

  • Craig Smith

    Undisclosed
    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Smith is tending to an unspecified issue, and it is up in the air if he will face the Sabres on Thursday.

  • Patrice Bergeron

    Lower Body
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Bergeron sat out of the previous contest tending to a lower-body injury, and it remains to be seen he will take the ice Sunday against the Penguins.

  • Kevan Miller

    Undisclosed
    Prob Fri | probable

    Miller has been sidelined with a foot infection, but he is likely to be in the lineup Friday versus the Buffalo.