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Bruins Host Devils to Close Out Back-to-Back

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

BOSTON - The Bruins host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night at TD Garden in their second game of a back-to-back set.

It marks the second of three meetings on the season for the Eastern Conference opponents. The Bruins took the first game 4-2 back on Nov. 10.

Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. ET.

The Black and Gold are coming off a 3-2 overtime win against the Penguins on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. It snapped a three-game losing streak, with all three of those losses having come in overtime or the shootout.

Boston has picked up at least a point in five games straight, and in seven of their past eight. It hasn't necessarily felt like that for the Bruins, though.

The victory in OT, thanks to Patrice Bergeron's winner, gave them much-needed relief.

"It wasn't perfect by all means, but definitely a good effort and we found a way to get the big win," Bergeron said on Wednesday night following the game.

"We know it's up to us to find a way and to find some urgency and find some desperation to get the wins," he said. "And get the result, and battling from ups and downs during games and I thought we did that. Like I said, it wasn't perfect, but we'll definitely take the result and build from that."

The Bruins didn't hold a morning skate on Thursday, with the back-to-back situation. Players are set to speak with reporters around 4:30 p.m. ET, while Head Coach Claude Julien will address the media at 5:50 p.m (follow live updates on Twitter via @NHLBruins).

Pastrnak Set to Suit Up

David Pastrnak is expected to play on Thursday against the Devils at TD Garden. It will mark his sixth game with the big club.

He play four more NHL games before the Bruins have a decision to make on his contract status. Once he suits up in Game No. 10, his entry-level contract would kick in for the 2014-15 season.

"He'll be going [against New Jersey], as the organization has decided to obviously evaluate him with four games before they make that big decision on his contract status."

"They want to see him in the best situations possible and back-to-back is not a great way to do that," Julien continued. "He's just come back from the junior tournament, so again, another day here of practice with us and getting ready for [Thursday] is what we felt was best for him and for us as an organization to evaluate him."

Eriksson's Status Questionable

Loui Eriksson wasn't on the bench for the end of the second period of Wednesday night's game. He returned to start the third period, but did not finish out the game.

"He got dinged up there, so he came back in the third, played a little bit and then he said he couldn't keep going," Julien said following the game. "So we inserted different guys in different spots and they did the job."

With Eriksson's status in question, Pastrnak entering the lineup, and a slew of other questions up front entering the game, the best indication of the lineup will be when Julien speaks with media at 5:50, and then when the Bruins hit the ice for warmups at 6:30.

Bergeron played the final two periods with Milan Lucic and Daniel Paille for the most part.

But it wouldn't be surprising to see Pastrnak get time with Lucic and David Krejci, and for Bergeron to be reunited with Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith.

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