BRUINS (44-20-9) AT DEVILS (27-38-9)
7 p.m. ET; SN360, SNE, SNO, SNP, MSG, NESN, NHL.TV
The Boston Bruins will look to extend their lead for second place in the Atlantic Division when they visit the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday.
The Bruins, who have won two straight and are 15-3-1 in their past 19 games, are four points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs with a game in hand.
Goalie Tuukka Rask will start; he's 17-2-3 with a 2.13 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and four shutouts in his past 23 games (21 decisions).
Center Pavel Zacha will return to the Devils lineup after missing 16 games with an upper-body injury. New Jersey, 2-8-1 in its past 11 games, has been eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Players to watch
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past 11 games.
Devils forward Kenny Agostino has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past six games.
They said it
"Finishing ahead of Toronto (in the Atlantic Division) will allow us to get home ice advantage. Listen, we take it one game at a time until we're in, and once we're in, we'll worry about what's next. We're not catching [the] Tampa Bay [Lightning], we know that, so we'd like to keep our place ahead of Toronto." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy
"We need to play the game extremely hard in the competitive areas and we need to execute; we have to get into the areas where you can score because we haven't done that enough. You can't have mental lapses against a team like Boston because they have so much depth and firepower." -- Devils coach John Hynes
Bruins projected lineup
Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Charlie Coyle
Danton Heinen -- Sean Kuraly -- Chris Wagner
Joakim Nordstrom -- Noel Acciari -- David Backes
Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy
John Moore -- Brandon Carlo
Steven Kampfer -- Connor Clifton
Scratched: Trent Frederic, Paul Carey
Injured: Kevan Miller (upper body), Marcus Johansson (lung contusion), Torey Krug (concussion), Matt Grzelcyk (arm)
Devils projected lineup
Blake Coleman -- Travis Zajac -- Stefan Noesen
Blake Pietila -- Pavel Zacha -- Drew Stafford
Kenny Agostino -- Kevin Rooney -- Joey Anderson
Eric Tangradi -- Michael McLeod -- Kurtis Gabriel
Andy Greene -- Damon Severson
Steven Santini -- Connor Carrick
Egor Yakovlev -- Josh Jacobs
Scratched: Nick Lappin, John Quenneville, Sami Vatanen, Colton White
Injured: Nathan Bastian (upper body), Jesper Bratt (lower body), Taylor Hall (lower body), Nico Hischier (upper body), Mirco Mueller (upper body), Miles Wood (lower body), Kyle Palmieri (upper body), Will Butcher (illness)
Miller, Grzelcyk and Johansson each skated Thursday; each is expected to practice with the Bruins on Friday. … Jacobs was recalled from Binghamton of the American Hockey League and will make his NHL debut.
Marchand has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in his past 11 games. ... Schneider is 5-4-1 with a 2.09 GAA, .934 save percentage and one shutout in his past 10 games (nine starts).