The Devils and Bruins met earlier this month in the Garden State and Boston posted a 6-1 rout of the host team. Since then, however, New Jersey has won five of six games and the Devils enter tonight riding a three-game winning streak.
Patrice Bergeron scored two goals and Milan Lucic added three assists to lead the Bruins to the recent blowout win of the Devils. The victory improved Boston to 2-0 against New Jersey this year and gave the Bruins six wins in the last seven games of this series. Boston has also claimed three of the last four matchups in Newark.
The Devils, who are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference standings, recorded their two most recent wins against Winnipeg, as they beat the Jets twice over the span of four days. New Jersey posted a 2-1 win Saturday in Winnipeg and then pounded the Jets by a 5-1 score Tuesday at the Rock.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice and Martin Brodeur had 20 saves to lead the Devils to Tuesday's victory, which kicked off a six-game homestand at the Rock. The rout also improved New Jersey's home record this season to 12-7-1.
"We started the second really well and didn't let down after that," said Brodeur. "That was key for us."
The Devils won despite playing without impressive rookie Adam Henrique, who has sat out the last two games with a groin injury. Henrique, who has 34 points in 41 games this year, is considered day-to-day and is questionable for tonight.
Boston, meanwhile, has lost two of three on a four-game road trip that ends tonight. The defending Stanley Cup champions and current Northeast Division leaders have lost three times in their last six trips to the ice after dropping just three games in their previous 16 contests.
In light of their recent mini-slump, the Bruins will be glad to get key forward Brad Marchand back tonight after he sat out the previous five games due to a suspension. Marchand, who has 16 goals and 16 assists this season, was given the ban for a low hit on Vancouver's Sami Salo on Jan. 7.
The Bruins lost Tuesday in Tampa, as Dominic Moore netted the go-ahead goal with 3:45 left in the third period to lead the Lightning to a 5-3 victory. The game marked Boston's first trip to Tampa since it lost to the Bolts in Game 6 of last spring's Eastern Conference finals. Of course, the Bruins won the decisive Game 7 before moving onto to defeat Vancover in the Stanley Cup Finals.
"They came out hungry tonight and it showed from the first period. The whole game we were trying to catch up with them in scoring and they fought hard," Paille said.
Bruins forward Rich Peverley has missed the last two games due to a personal matter, but he is expected to be back in the lineup tonight. Peverley has seven goals and 22 assists this season.
Boston is 13-6-0 as the guest this year and will play its next game this Saturday against the visiting New York Rangers.