The Boston Bruins end a three-game home stand Monday night when they host the new Jersey Devils, looking to avoid going winless on this stay at the TD Garden.
Boston has dropped the first two games of this three-game stretch (against Montreal and Ottawa) and dating back to Nov. 5, the Bruins have lost three consecutive games on their home ice. Overall in the 2010-11 season, the Bruins are just 2-4-1 at home, compared to 6-1-0 on the road.
The Bruins have dropped a pair of games in regulation at the start of this residency, losing to Montreal on Thursday and falling to Ottawa this past Saturday. Boston is just 2-4-1 on home ice this season compared to a stellar 6-1-0 record on the road.
Saturday's 2-0 setback to Ottawa also marked Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas' first loss of the season. Senators netminder Brian Elliott stopped 31 shots to lead the way for Ottawa, while Thomas fell to 8-1-0 despite making 33 saves.
The Bruins began the 2010-11 campaign with a 7-2-0 mark, but they are just 1-3-1 in their last five outings. Boston has combined for five total goals over its last four losses, but scored seven times in beating Pittsburgh last Wednesday.
Boston center David Krejci has missed the last three games with a concussion and despite practicing on Sunday, he is expected to miss this evening's game. Krejci is tied for third on the team with 10 points.
Next up for Boston after tonight is Wednesday's road game against the New York Rangers.
The Devils, meanwhile, will try once again to post consecutive victories for the first time this season. New Jersey, which earned an overtime win over Edmonton on Friday, has just five wins in 17 games this year.
New Jersey has recorded a point in its last two games, as it lost in a shootout on Wednesday to Buffalo before closing a three-game homestand with the win over the Oilers.
Ilya Kovalchuk redeemed himself for a pathetic shootout attempt against the Sabres by scoring the OT game-winner against Edmonton. It was the first goal in eight games for Kovalchuk, who is in the first year of a 15-year, $100 million contract with New Jersey.
Kovalchuk had a chance to even the shootout against Buffalo on Wednesday, but lost control of the puck and failed to even get a shot off. His miss ended the game and secured the victory for the Sabres.
However, Kovalchuk went from goat to hero on Friday, scoring 3:27 into overtime to lift the Devils to the 4-3 win over visiting Edmonton. On the power play in the extra session, Patrik Elias and Henrik Tallinder played catch with the puck at the points, and Tallinder's pass from the left point to the left circle was one-timed into the net by Kovalchuk.
Alexander Vasyunov and Mattias Tedenby each lit the lamp for the Devils, who won their first home game after going 0-5-2 at the Prudential Center to start the year. Brian Rolston, who had missed the previous 14 games after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia, scored in his return.
"It wasn't pretty but we came back and won the hockey game," said Rolston. "When it comes down to it, it doesn't matter how you win, just that you do win. We needed this tonight."
Martin Brodeur was back after missing two games with a bruised elbow and stopped 21 shots in the win.
"We've been through this a lot this year and we just have to deal with it," said Brodeur. "I thought we did a good job of responding tonight and rallying together."
Brodeur is expected to start again tonight, but Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner could miss his second straight game with an upper-body injury. Langenbrunner suffered the injury after falling head-first into the boards in Wednesday's game against Buffalo.
The Devils are 4-5-0 as the away team this year and is kicking off a three- game road trip tonight. Jersey will also make stops in Toronto and St. Louis.
The Bruins posted a 4-1 win over the Devils when the clubs met in Newark on October 16. New Jersey still has five wins in the last eight meetings and has taken two straight and three of its last four in Boston.