New Jersey Devils Game 34 Preview: at Boston Bruins

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 02: Devils mob winning goalscorer center Nico Hischier (13) in overtime during a NHL game between the Washington Capitals and the New Jersey Devils, on January 02, 2022, at Capital One Arena, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The banged up New Jersey Devils look to extend their win streak against the Boston Bruins.

Tale of the Tape

Record: 13-15-5 (31 points, 7th in Metro)

The Opponent: Boston Bruins (16-10-2) – FHN Blog: Black & Gold Garden

Puckdrop: 7:00 PM ET

Venue: TD Garden

Expected Goaltenders: Mackenzie Blackwood (8-6-3) vs. Linus Ullmark (8-5-0)

Television Broadcasts: MSG+, NESN

Boston Bruins

The Bruins are coming off a convincing victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. After an early Detroit goal from Tyler Bertuzzi, Boston scored five unanswered goals to give them the victory and overtake the Red Wings for the second wild card spot. Goaltender Jeremy Swayman stopped 23 of 24 shots for his 8th win of the season.

Linus Ullmark will make his 14th start of the season for the Bruins tonight. Ullmark signed a four-year contract with Boston in the offseason and has been splitting the crease with Swayman this year. The 28-year-old carries a 2.55 GAA and .919 save percentage into tonight’s contest.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils won their third consecutive game on Sunday when they defeated the Washington Capitals 4-3 in overtime. This game came at a price as Nico Hischier and Dougie Hamilton suffered injuries that will keep them out of the lineup.

The team announced today that Hamilton suffered a broken jaw after being hit in the face with a deflected puck. The 28-year-old defenseman will undergo surgery tomorrow and there is no timeline for his return until after the surgery has been completed.

Hischier will be missing from tonight’s lineup with the lower-body injury. The Devils’ captain seemed to be in a considerable amount of pain after blocking an Alex Ovechkin slap shot with his foot in the second period. Whether there is any correlation between the injury and the block is currently unknown. The team will also be without forwards Pavel Zacha and Yegor Sharangovich due to Covid-19.

With the absence of Hamilton, Hischier, Zacha, and Sharangovich, more pressure falls on Jack Hughes if the Devils plan on extending their win streak to four games. The young star has eight points in his last three games and will need another amazing performance to steal a win.

Mackenzie Blackwood is expected to get the start tonight for New Jersey. Blackwood played pretty well against Washington aside from one miscue that tied the game late in the third period. The 25-year-old stopped 27 of 30 shots for his third straight win and his 8th on the season.

Player to Watch: Tomas Tatar

Tomas Tatar makes his return to the lineup after spending three games in the NHL’s Covid-19 protocol. Tatar’s return could not come at a better time as the Devils come into tonight’s game missing key goal scorers.

Expect Tatar to get some time on New Jersey’s top power play unit as spots have opened up because of the injuries. The 31-year-old will need to be a key contributor if the Devils plan on getting a win in Boston.

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