Bruins-Devils Preview

The Associated Press

New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur knows his team missed an opportunity to add to its recent momentum last time out. The Boston Bruins likely had a similar feeling about their latest game.

Judging by recent matchups between the teams, the Bruins seem to have a better chance of bouncing back with a win Wednesday night at the Prudential Center.

New Jersey (21-15-2) has been one of the league's better teams in recent weeks, going 9-3-1 in its last 13. The Devils, though, fell short in their attempt for a third straight win Monday as they blew a two-goal lead in a 3-2 overtime defeat at Ottawa.

David Clarkson and Dainius Zubrus, who scored his 200th goal, gave New Jersey that advantage entering the third period.

"In the position that we're in in the game, we should have got two (points)," Brodeur said.

The Bruins (24-10-1), meanwhile, are trying to regroup after their seven-game win streak was snapped Saturday with only their fourth loss in 25 contests.

They gave up three goals in the first period of a 4-2 defeat at Dallas, including two on the power play after killing 21 consecutive opportunities.

"It was a frustrating night for us," coach Claude Julien said. "When some tough calls go against you, you get frustrated. ... We weren't a very good team. They were physical, skating well and were without a doubt the better team."

The Bruins have been the better team in recent games against New Jersey, winning five of six meetings. They claimed a 4-3 home victory over the Devils on Nov. 15 as Benoit Pouliot scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:01 remaining.

Boston has prevailed in two of its last three road games against the Devils, with the lone exception coming in the regular-season finale April 10 in what was largely a playoff tune-up.

New Jersey enters this game having won a season-high three in a row at home, but the Bruins are among the league's best road teams at 11-4-0.

"When we played them (in Boston) this year I thought they played a real good game, they had us for quite a while until we scored a few goals," Julien told his team's official website. "They've been good at home lately, they're certainly going to give us a good game. They lost a tough one in overtime, so I expect them to want to bounce back like we do."

If Brodeur is in net again for the Devils, he'll try to snap a personal four-game skid against the Bruins. Brodeur, who has a 2.70 goals-against average during that 0-3-1 stretch, is 5-1-1 with a 2.22 GAA in his last seven starts overall.

His teammates hope to help him out with some better play on special teams. New Jersey is 5 for 40 with the man advantage in its last 12 games, allowing opponents to score a power-play goal in each of the past three.

The Devils might have trouble converting, however, considering Boston's Tim Thomas has posted a 1.25 GAA while winning four straight versus New Jersey. Backup Tuukka Rask has a 1.27 GAA in three career starts in the series.

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