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Devils try to end skid, avoid sweep by Bruins

by Mike G. Morreale

BRUINS (25-9-4) at DEVILS (15-14-10)


Last 10: Boston 6-3-1; New Jersey 2-4-4

Season series: The third and final meeting between the teams in the regular season. In the last game on April 4, Jaromir Jagr scored the only goal and Tuukka Rask made 40 saves to lead the Bruins to a 1-0 victory, the team's second one-goal victory over the Devils this season. Brad Marchand scored in the sixth round of a shootout to give the Bruins a 2-1 victory on Jan. 29.

Big story: It's been a while since the Devils were last mired in a seven-game losing streak, but that's exactly the predicament the team finds itself with just nine games remaining in the regular season. After Sunday's shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the Devils fell to 0-3-4 in their past seven, the team's longest losing streak since Jan. 24-Feb. 5, 1986. New Jersey's 2-7 mark in shootouts is a big reason the club has struggled to generate valuable points in a shortened season -- the team finished 12-4 in the tiebreaker in 2011-12.

Team Scope:

Bruins: The line of Marchand, Jagr and Gregory Campbell combined for two goals and two assists and Rask made 40 saves as the Bruins skated to a 6-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden. Nathan Horton's goal 16:56 into the third was the 198th of his career.

"I felt sharp throughout the year, I think," Rask told reporters after the game. "But it's just trying to be calm and just poised out there, and it's been good the past three games. So I'm just trying to keep that up."

Devils: Goalie Martin Brodeur told reporters after New Jersey's loss to Buffalo on Sunday that there is a level of concern within the locker room with just a handful of games remaining and the team on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Brodeur took the loss against the Sabres and is 2-3-3 with a 2.09 goals-against average and .900 save percentage since returning to the lineup on March 21 at Carolina.

"It's high. It's really concerning that we can't win," Brodeur told The (Newark) Star-Ledger. "We played one of the teams [Buffalo] that we should beat. I thought we deserved to beat them the way we played. But you don't get goals for hanging onto the puck for 25 minutes a game. We drained them but we couldn't take advantage of it."

Who's hot: David Clarkson scored the Devils' only goal against Buffalo and leads the team with 13 on the year. … Rask is 3-2-1 in his past six starts with a 2.16 GAA and .921 save percentage.

Injury report: Forward Patrice Bergeron (head) and defenseman Adam McQuaid (shoulder) are out indefinitely. … Devils wing Ilya Kovalchuk will miss his eighth straight game with a right shoulder injury.

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