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Need to Know: Bruins at Devils

Boston hoping to make it three straight wins

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BostonBruins.com - The Bruins have won two straight games for the first time since the first week in December and will be looking to make it three consecutive victories when they take on the Devils Monday night in New Jersey.

It will be the second of three meetings between the teams this season and the first since Boston's comeback victory during their home opener at TD Garden. In that contest, Brad Marchand tied the game at midway through the third, before Patrice Bergeron netted the winner with just 1:15 to go to lift Boston to a 2-1 win.

Puck drop on Monday night is set for 7 p.m. on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Here is what you need to know:

Keep it Rolling

Stronger starts, more offense, and a better power play.

Those have been biggest areas of improvement for the Bruins of late. And they received all of three in Saturday's New Year's Eve matinee with the Buffalo Sabres.

Boston grabbed a 3-1 victory over Buffalo - during which the soared to a 3-0 lead - to complete a home-and-home sweep. The Bruins scored seven goals over the two contests and have now potted three-plus goals in three straight games for the first time this season.

The Black & Gold would like to continue that trend against the Devils.

"It's important, especially at this time of the year that you gather some wins," said Zdeno Chara. "If you're able to do that, you separate yourself from the rest of the field and build yourself some cushion that is always nice to have.

"But we can't be looking too far ahead, we have to focus on the next game."

Boston has also scored on the power play in four of its last five games, though the Bruins know there is still plenty of room for improvement.

"We're still 25th," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "It's good that we've scored in four of five games, but we're going to continue to work on our power play and try to get better."

Video: Bruins enter 2017 on a two-game winning streak

Opposing View

The Devils have scuffled in recent weeks, dropping 10 of their last 12 games, including a 6-2 loss to Washington on Saturday. At 14-16-7, New Jersey sits eighth in the Metropolitan Division with 35 points.

New Jersey ranks 27th in goals per game (2.2), goals against (3.0), and power play (14.1%). Their penalty kill is 11th at 83.2%.

Travis Zajac has 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) in 37 games to pace the Devils, while Taylor Hall sits second with 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in just 27 games. PA Parenteau leads New Jersey with 10 goals.

Defenseman John Moore left Saturday's game with Washington on a stretch after being hit hard into the boards. He was taken to the hospital and later released.

Wait, There's More

The Bruins' penalty kill continues to be a strong point. Boston killed off all four of Buffalo's power plays on Saturday and sits second in the NHL at 87%. "Special teams play such a huge part in wins and losses and you always see the teams that have really good special teams win a lot of games," said Brad Marchand.

The Bruins will have five players enter Monday night's game with a multi-game point streak. Torey Krug (0-7-7) and Ryan Spooner (3-4-7) boast five-game point streaks, while Patrice Bergeron, Marchand, and Frank Vatrano have points in back-to-back games.

Boston will be without David Backes, who is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion. Vatrano has slid up to his right wing spot alongside Ryan Spooner and David Krejci.

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