The Bruins have found their offense during their five-game winning streak and young forward Tyler Seguin has been at the center of it all.
Boston, the defending Stanley Cup champions, lost seven of their first 10 games of the season before its current win streak. The Bruins are still last in the Northeast Division, one point behind both the Senators and Canadiens, but have pulled within six of the first-place Sabres.
The goals have been coming at a furious pace, with the Bruins outscoring their opponents 30-10 over their win streak. That is their best five-game output since also netting 30 goals from Oct. 12-23, 1992.
The second overall pick of the 2010 draft, Seguin has led the charge. He has eight goals and 11 points over a six-game point streak, including four goals and two assists in three games last week to earn the NHL's First Star of the week on Monday. Seguin is coming off a three-point game as he tallied twice and set up another goal in Saturday's 6-2 win over Buffalo.
Brad Marchand also had three points, posting a goal and two assists to give him a five-game point streak. He has three goals and eight points in that span.
"Offensively we've been pretty impressive. It's fun to play behind," said winning goaltender Tim Thomas, who made 21 saves.
Boston has won the first three of a five-game homestand and will have forward Milan Lucic available tonight. Lucic was given a charging penalty in Saturday's game after he slammed into Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller well outside the crease while the two were going for a loose puck. The Sabres said after the game that Miller has a concussion, but NHL vice president of player safety and hockey operations Brendan Shanahan said Lucic did not require further punishment.
"The minor penalty called on the ice was the correct call," said Shanahan. "And, while it's unfortunate that Miller was hurt I saw nothing egregious about this hit that would elevate it to supplemental discipline."
The Devils come to Boston with Kovalchuk in tow, hoping the forward can suit up for the first time in five games. Kovalchuk has been out due to a lower- body injury.
"We'll see how he is [Tuesday]," Devils coach Peter DeBoer told his team's website. "He got through practice; we cut him a little short, didn't want to push the issue because he felt good. We'll skate him again tomorrow morning and see where he's at."
New Jersey is coming off a split of its home-and-home series with Washington. After having a three-game win streak snapped in Friday's home loss, the Devils countered with a 3-2 shootout victory on the road the following night.
David Clarkson netted the winner in the tiebreaker and Johan Hedberg made 15 saves through overtime before standing tall in the shootout. He is expected to get the start in net tonight, with Martin Brodeur slated to play on Wednesday in Buffalo.
The Devils erased a 2-0 deficit in the second period with tallies from Petr Sykora and Ryan Carter, while Patrik Elias pushed his point streak to seven straight games (2 goals, 6 assists). New Jersey won the opener of a season- high five-game road trip and has won two in a row as the guest for the first time this season.
"I thought it was a real gutsy effort, in this building down 2-0 to that team" said DeBoer. "To hold them -- we held them at seven shots over the last 45 minutes. I thought it was a real gritty effort."
The Bruins won three of four over the Devils a season ago, but the two clubs have split their last six meetings in Boston.