NEWARK, N.J. -- The Boston Bruins controlled the pace, generated quality scoring opportunities, including several outnumbered chances off the rush, and outshot the New Jersey Devils by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
It got them nothing.
The Devils defeated the Bruins 2-1 at Prudential Center on Tuesday despite being outshot 40-15.
Devils forwards Travis Zajac and Reid Boucher scored power-play goals and goalie Keith Kinkaid made a career-high 39 saves in his first appearance since March 19. He had allowed 13 goals on 75 shots in his previous three appearances.
"You can look at it whichever way you want, but you got to look at yourselves and blame yourselves for this loss," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "You can say you tried, but at this time of year it's not good enough. The situation that we're in, we expect better from ourselves."
The Bruins (40-29-8), who have lost six of their past seven games, caught a break because the Detroit Red Wings lost in regulation to the Montreal Canadiens.
Video: BOS@NJD: Boucher's PPG puts the Devils on top
Boston, with 88 points, remained in third in the Atlantic Division; it has a one point lead on Detroit, which has lost three of their past five games. Each team has five games remaining. Boston plays its next two on the road against the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks.
The Red Wings and Bruins play at TD Garden on April 7.
"We [have to] play for our lives," Julien said. "It's our own fault if we make it harder on ourselves all the time. Obviously when you look at the way the game went, the game plan was good, but the part that we can't help them with is the finishing part and that's what we [have to] get better at."
The Bruins have scored 10 goals on 238 shots (4.2 percent) and are 2-for-19 (10.5 percent) on the power play in their past seven games. Three of the goals, including each power-power play goal, came in their 3-1 win at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
"Like we've been talking about a lot lately, it's about bearing down, scoring, finding the back of the net," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. "When we do have a power play we have to do the job. When we're on the PK, same thing. We've got to be better. At this time of the year, having chances is not good enough."
Video: BOS@NJD: Marchand finishes nifty move on the backhand
The Devils (37-32-8) have a slim chance to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They have five games remaining and are five points behind the Philadelphia Flyers, who are currently in position to be the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference by virtue of their two games in hand on Detroit. The Flyers and Red Wings each have 87 points.
New Jersey expects to get No. 1 goalie Cory Schneider back, perhaps as soon as Thursday, when it plays at the Florida Panthers. Schneider missed his 11th straight game with a knee sprain, but said he hopes to be good to go Thursday.
If he's not, it's likely that Kinkaid will get back in the net after his sterling performance against Boston. He allowed a goal to Brad Marchand at 4:28 of the second period, but made 27 consecutive saves in the final 35:32, including 16 saves in the third period, to get the win.
Boucher's power-play goal at 4:05 of the third period stood as the game-winner. Zajac scored a power-play goal at 16:59 of the first period to give New Jersey a 1-0 lead.
"We didn't play bad, but at one point you have to be able to score goals," Marchand said. "You got to give their goalie some credit, he made a few big saves. I thought we had a really good game. We outplayed them most of the game. We just didn't capitalize."
Video: BOS@NJD: Zajac puts the Devils on top with a PPG
Kinkaid, the Devils backup goalie all season, watched American Hockey League callup Scott Wedgewood play well in four consecutive starts when he tried to work out some kinks in his own game. He felt challenged by Wedgewood, and knew he needed to respond.
"I think I responded well," Kinkaid said. "It's just about keeping it going. If I get another game this year, I [have] to bring it into that and bring it into training camp. I [have to] keep an eye on the video, keep an eye on what I'm doing, and be a pro."
Devils coach John Hynes said Kinkaid's response speaks to his competitiveness.
"Keith hit some adversity with Wedgewood coming in and playing well, and he had to have a response," Hynes said. "He had to be able to be mentally tough. He had to concentrate on himself. He had to be a good team player. He did those things. So the response he gave tonight, I think talks about his competitiveness and I think that's a step in the right direction for him in his career, but also for our team."
Video: Kinkaid, strong power play lead Devils over Bruins