Game 63 Preview: New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 26: Marek Zidlicky #2 of the New Jersey Devils skates out for warmups prior to his first game for the Devils against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Prudential Center on February 26, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Time: 7:00 PM EDT

The Broadcast: TV - MSG PLUS, NESN; Radio - 660 AM WFAN

The Game: The New Jersey Devils (35-23-4) vs. the Boston Bruins (37-21-3)

The Last Bruins Game: The Bruins lost to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. The Bruins offense got 32 shots on rookie goaltender Robin Lehner, but none made it past. Tim Thomas was just as good as he stopped 37 of 38 shots to keep the Bruins in the game. The Senators are now one point behind the Bruins in the North East division after that win. Hopefully the Bruins lack of offense continues tonight, but I doubt it.

The Last Devils Game: The Devils fell to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist stopped all 13 shots the Devils mustered. The Devils also played a very poor game. John has the recap here.

The Last Devils-Bruins Game: The last time these two played each other the final score was very lopsided, 4-1. However, this game was not a total blowout. Petr Sykora scored at the end of the first period and the Devils led until the third period when the Bruins came to life and effectively ended the game. The Bruins scored two goals within a minute of each other halfway through the third that must have really knocked out the wind in the Devils' sails. If the Devils could have kept it together in the third, they may have taken one away from the Bruins.

The Goal: Do not let the Bruins sweep the series. If the season ended today, the Devils would play the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. If the Devils end up playing the Bruins in the first round, they need the confidence that at least one win against the Bruins will give them. If they get swept in the season series, the postseason could be short. That being said, how can the Devils beat the Bruins? Check out my brief thoughts on the upcoming game after the jump.

In order to beat the Bruins the Devils need two things to happen. They need to get many, many, many scoring chances on Tim Thomas. Thomas does not let much get by him. He is especially good under pressure, and the Bruins are feeling pressure from the Senators. The Devils will need to capitalize on any rebound Thomas gives up. That will be complicated because the Bruins have a strong defensive corps.

The second thing the Devils will need is solid goaltending. Marty is slotted to start and he is playing pretty well. Marty should be ready for a very busy night. The Bruins average over 33 shots per game, third in the NHL. They convert 3.16 goals per game, good for second in the league. I hope Marty is rested from the game in New York and ready to play another top team this week.

All in all, this will be another big test for the Devils. Not only will it measure how the Devils stack up against the beasts of the East, but the Devils don't want to start flirting with the 8th seed. Leave your comments for tonight's game in the comments and most importantly, Go Devils!

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