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Ice Breakers: Bruins-Devils, Thursday 10-29

The Bruins are back in action at the TD Garden tonight, as they host all-world goalie Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.

Boston is coming off a surprising 4-3 come-from-behind win over Ottawa last Saturday, a win that saw the Bruins erase a two-goal deficit within the last 90 seconds of the third period. The Bruins would later win the game on Patrice Bergeron’s lone shootout goal.

For New Jersey, they come north after losing last night to Buffalo, 4-1 in the Garden State. The Devils (6-4-0) are a very unimpressive 1-4-0 at home this season, but are unbeaten (5-0-0) away from the Prudential Center. (No, not our Prudential Center…)

Here now, a few more notes to feast your eyes on, leading up to tonight’s Garden party…

  • Tonight’s goalie matchup will feature two men with five Vezina trophies between them. Of course, we know Boston’s Tim Thomas is coming off his first Vezina Trophy win last season, so that leaves the other 4 with Devils veteran goaltender Martin Brodeur. The 37-year-old Brodeur is in his 16th year between the pipes for New Jersey, having led the Devils to 3 Stanley Cup winning seasons. This season, the Devils’ workhorse has played every minute of New Jersey’s 10 games thus far, posting a 6-4-0 record with a 2.58GAA. He has won 7 of his last 9 starts vs. Boston.
  • New Jersey’s scoring is led by young left winger Zach Parise. Parise, who is coming off a 45-goal year last season, has hit for 6 goals and 7 assists thus far. Also near the top of the Devils’ stat sheet is center Travis Zajac, who has a 5-goal, 5-assist stat line through the team’s first 10 games.
  • The Devils will look to get their power play attack back on track tonight. They are just 2 for the last 22 on the man-advantage, and rank 23rd overall at a very lackluster 17.1%.
  • The Bruins, with both Milan Lucic (finger) and Marc Savard (foot) out with long-term injuries, aren’t the only ones dealing with injuries to key players. New Jersey is without one of their top defensemen Paul Martin, for the next 4-6 weeks with a broken left arm, while veteran left winger Jay Pandolfo will also be sidelined for the same amount of time with a separated right shoulder. Pandolfo, born in Winchester, MA, played his high school hockey at Burlington High School, followed by a four-year college career at Boston University from ’93 to ’96.
  • Also raised locally is New Jersey defenseman Mike Mottau. The 31-year-old Mottau was born in nearby Quincy, MA, and suited up for Thayer Academy (Braintree) and Boston College (Class of 2000) before turning pro.
  • Head coach Claude Julien will be looking for the 100th win of his Bruins career tonight, facing off against his former employers. Julien led the Devils for 79 games of the ’06-’07 season, being replaced with just three games remaining in the season. That year, he took the Devils to a 47-24-8 record. The team was sitting atop the Atlantic Division when GM Lou Lamoriello pulled the plug on Julien’s days as a Devil.
  • Lastly, adding to Boston’s walking wounded this week was Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. Chiarelli, who tore cartilage in his knee over the summer, went under the knife Monday for arthroscopic surgery, and will be seen hobbling around the Garden offices on crutches for the foreseeable future while he recovers.

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One comment for “Ice Breakers: Bruins-Devils, Thursday 10-29”

  1. Ice Breakers: Bruins-Devils, Thursday 10-29 | Sports of Boston http://bit.ly/tTXpY

    Posted by NHL Playoff | October 29, 2009, 8:53 pm

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