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Preview: Devils at Bruins

Forward Drew Stafford making Boston debut; New Jersey aims to avoid sixth straight loss

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

DEVILS (25-26-12) at BRUINS (33-25-6)

7 p.m. ET; NESN, MSG+, NHL.TV

 

Devils team scope

New Jersey Devils captain Andy Greene was a late scratch for personal reasons. The Devils recalled forward Nick Lappin from Albany of the American Hockey League. The Devils, looking to end a five-game losing streak (0-3-2), will dress defenseman Dalton Prout, who will make his debut with New Jersey after being acquired in a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Kyle Quincey on Wednesday. "I'm looking forward to putting the past in the past and I'm only looking forward," said Prout, who has three assists in 15 games. Forward Pavel Zacha, who has 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 52 games, will miss his fourth game because of a concussion but is nearing a return. "We're going to give him another hard skate today and a little bit more battle and conditioning and then see how he responds," coach John Hynes said. "But as a young player (19 years old), it's important to make sure that when he does come back in he's ready, but he is making significant progress." Goaltender Cory Schneider will start his fifth straight game for the Devils, who are 8-2-1 in their past 11 road games. New Jersey is nine points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. "We're playing for some things and to try and keep ourselves very competitive," Hynes said, "and we have a mindset as a team these are situations and games that we have to continue to compete hard in and learn how to win and find ways to win. And I think if you do that, we're in a race."

 

Bruins team scope

Forward Drew Stafford will make his Boston Bruins debut after being acquired from the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional sixth-round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft on Wednesday. Stafford participated in his first full-squad practice Saturday. "It definitely helps to get out there with the boys, especially today considering yesterday was a little bit more of an optional skate," said Stafford, who has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 40 games. "So to get somewhat of a practice, a little bit of structure, talk to the coaches about a little bit of systems stuff, we'll do some video tonight and be ready to go." Goaltender Anton Khudobin, who has won his past two starts, will start for the Bruins, who are 7-2-0 under coach Bruce Cassidy. Prior to his 4-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 11, Khudobin hadn't won since a 2-1 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 1. "Watching him in games, he looks like he's enjoying it and playing with confidence and challenging shooters," Cassidy said, "and I wouldn't see why it wouldn't be that way. When you win some games and you're the goalie, you should have some confidence if you play well. ... I think he's played well, he's earned both those wins." The Bruins are two points behind the Ottawa Senators for second place in the Atlantic Division; the Senators have two games in hand. Defenseman Kevan Miller and center Ryan Spooner each will play in his 200th NHL game.

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Miles Wood -- Adam Henrique -- Beau Bennett

Joseph Blandisi -- Blake Coleman -- Stefan Noesen

Kevin Rooney -- Devante Smith-Pelly -- Nick Lappin

Dalton Prout -- Ben Lovejoy

Jon Merrill -- Steven Santini

John Moore -- Damon Severson

 

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Andy Greene

Injured: Jacob Josefson (upper body), Pavel Zacha (concussion), Michael Cammalleri (upper body)

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Backes

Peter Cehlarik -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano -- Ryan Spooner -- Drew Stafford

Tim Schaller -- Dominic Moore -- Riley Nash

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Colin Miller -- Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Jimmy Hayes, Matt Beleskey, John-Michael Liles, Joe Morrow

Injured: None

 

Status report

Cassidy plans to flip Colin Miller and Kevan Miller on his third defense pair to see how Colin Miller does on the left side. Each is a right-handed shot.

 

Who's hot                                                                                        

Zajac has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past six games. Palmieri has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past five games. ... Pastrnak has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in his past 15 games. Bergeron has 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in his past 14 games. Marchand has eight points (four goals, four assists) in a four-game goal streak.

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