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Bruins aim for 10th straight win vs. Devils

by Mike G. Morreale

BRUINS (46-17-5) at DEVILS (29-26-13)


Last 10: Boston 9-1-0; New Jersey 5-5-0

Season series: The second of three games between the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils. The Devils rallied for a 4-3 victory on Oct. 26 at TD Garden when Marek Zidlicky and Andy Greene scored power-play goals in a span of 24 seconds late in the third period. The teams will play again April 13 at Prudential Center.

Big story: The Devils begin a five-game homestand and close out the regular season with 10 of their final 14 games at Prudential Center with hopes of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins will look to continue their winning ways, having won a season-high nine straight while allowing one or no goals six times over that stretch. The Devils are five points out of a playoff spot after closing out a recent three-game road trip 1-2-0. New Jersey followed a 2-1 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 11 with losses against the Florida Panthers on Friday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

"One of the reasons we are where we are in the standings is we haven't been that consistent," Devils forward Dainius Zubrus told The (Newark) Star-Ledger. "I believe we can do it. I know we can do it. We have a good enough team to be able to put these stretches and put some winning streaks together."

Team Scope:

Bruins: Boston begins a three-game road trip riding its longest win streak since a 10-game stretch from Nov. 1-23, 2011. Led by Jarome Iginla (25 goals), the Bruins are atop the Eastern Conference standings with 46 wins and 97 points. The line of Iginla, David Krejci and Milan Lucic, which combined for six points in a 5-1 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, added another two goals by Iginla in a 4-1 victory against the Minnesota Wild on Monday. Tuukka Rask earned his sixth straight win on 33 saves and Boston received points from eight different players.

Despite the success, Bruins coach Claude Julien feels there is still room for improvement. The Bruins play against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday and Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.

"We're playing well, we're playing hard," Julien said. "I think we're doing a lot of good things here. But we've just got to stay the course. Again, I don't think we're doing things to peak too early. I think we're utilizing our players, our bench as much as we can, getting guys some rest and all that stuff. We're doing the best we can."

Devils: Goalie Martin Brodeur, the expected starter Tuesday, had a four-game winning streak snapped in a 3-0 loss against the Lightning. It was Brodeur's first loss since Jan. 26 against the New York Rangers in a 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium. Brodeur made one of his 29 saves Saturday on a penalty shot against J.T. Brown for his ninth save on 12 attempts in his NHL career.

Devils wing Ryane Clowe believes players must take a playoff-like approach to the final 14 regular-season games.

"We've got to be more desperate," he said. "There are enough games. We've said all year we have to put a streak together and we haven't yet."

The Devils will wear their retro red, green and white jerseys for the second time this season on Tuesday; they also wore them at Yankee Stadium.

Who's hot: Iginla has a five-game point streak, scoring six goals and seven points over that stretch. … Jaromir Jagr has three goals and six points in the past six games for the Devils.

Injury report: Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk (leg) is day-to-day and defensemen Adam McQuaid (strained quadriceps) and Dennis Seidenberg (right knee surgery) are on injured reserve. … Devils forward Ryan Carter (upper body) is out.

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