Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Boston Bruins Game Day Preview:
Boston Bruins (41-20-5, 87 pts) vs New Jersey Devils (24-37-5, 53 pts)
TIME: 7:05 PM ET
TV: NESN, MSG Network
After three straight post-trade deadline games where the Boston Bruins were tested against the likes of the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins are going to begin the long-term process of prepping for the playoffs against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. The Bruins haven’t clinched a playoff spot as of yet, but they aren’t going to fall out of the race at this point while realistically able to finish as high as second place in the Atlantic Division.
After a rough 6-3 loss to the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night that puts them three points behind the Lightning for the second-place spot in the Atlantic Division, the Boston Bruins are going to change up their lineup. An ineffective Connor Clifton will get a rest and Derek Forbort will sit as well as the Boston Bruins take a look at a new pairing of the newly acquired Josh Brown and puck-mover Mike Reilly.
Linus Ullmark gets the start in net for the Boston Bruins are coming on in relief of Jeremy Swayman for the third period of Tuesday night’s slog against the Leafs. Ullmark stopped all seven shots he saw in the third period on Tuesday night and wraps up a month of March where he’s been 3-1-1 with a 2.43 goals against average and .906 save percentage for the Boston Bruins.
Nico Daws (8-8-0, 3.05 goals against average, .900 save percentage) is expected to get the start between the pipes for the New Jersey Devils.
Boston Bruins Notes
-Billerica native Marc McLaughlin will be making his Boston Bruins debut after signing with the B’s out of Boston College a couple of weeks ago. McLaughlin is expecting at least 50 friends and family in the TD Garden crowd for his first NHL game and needless to say he’s pumped.
“Obviously a lot of different emotions. I’m definitely really excited to say the least. Anytime you get a chance to play in the NHL [it’s special], but to be wearing the Bruins sweater at the same time is really special,” said McLaughlin, who had “above 50, probably” family and friends coming to the game. “I just want to say quickly thank you to everybody that’s helped me get to this point: coaches, family and friends. I couldn’t have gotten here without you guys, and I appreciate it a lot.”
-The Boston Bruins are planning to honor Tuukka Rask’s retirement on Thursday night and give him a celebrating befitting a brilliant NHL career that leaves him as the winningest goaltender in Boston Bruins franchise history.
In honor of Tuukka Night. pic.twitter.com/51BQ2S4z6D
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 31, 2022
My partner-in-crime Jimmy Murphy has a great story on Tuukka Rask and his very beginnings with the Boston Bruins organization when he came over from the Maple Leafs in exchange for Andrew Raycroft.
New Jersey Devils Notes
-Forward Janne Kuokkanen has been activated off the injured reserve and may be headed back to the Devils lineup. Forward Tyce Thompson was also activated off injured reserve and assigned to New Jersey’s farm team in Utica.
-Bruins killer Miles Wood returned to the lineup last weekend following hip surgery after missing nearly a year of action and is expected to be in the lineup for the Devils.
Boston Bruins Lineup:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron– Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic – Charlie Coyle – Marc McLaughlin
Anton Blidh-Tomas Nosek-Curtis Lazar
Hampus Lindholm – Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Mike Reilly – Josh Brown
New Jersey Devils Lineup:
Yegor Sharangovich–Jack Hughes–Dawson Mercer
Tomas Tatar–Nico Hischier–Jesper Bratt
Andreas Johnsson–Jesper Boqvist–Miles Wood
Jimmy Vesey–Michael McLeod–Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler–Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves–Damon Severson
Ty Smith–P.K. Subban