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Bruins take Northeast Division lead, hand Devils eighth loss in a row

Apr 10, 2013, 10:32 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens Getty Images

The Boston Bruins have been steamrolling slumping teams to improve their standing in the Northeast Division – and probably boost their scoring confidence – lately.

They handed the lowly Carolina Hurricanes their sixth loss in a row on Monday and then beat the New Jersey Devils by a 5-4 score that was deceptively close on Wednesday.

The game could prove costly for both sides injury-wise. Brad Marchand left the game and didn’t return after an elbow by Anton Volchenkov, who might face a suspension for that hit. Bryce Salvador hurt himself blocking a Zdeno Chara shot while Martin Brodeur was a little banged up after a collision with Chris Kelly. (He played the rest of the game, though.)

Of course, an eighth consecutive loss probably hurts the Devils the most.

With this win, the Bruins take a slim lead in the Northeast:

Boston: 26-9-4 for 56 points, nine games left
Montreal: 25-9-5 for 55 points, nine games left

Neither team plays against each other again in the regular season. The Bruins play six of their last nine games at home. They likely hope to build a nice cushion for themselves by playing five of their next six contests in Boston.

The Habs face nearly the opposite situation, as only three of their last nine games are in Montreal.

If you don’t have a horse in the race, the most entertaining scenario could be if the Bruins take the Northeast crown; that would likely set up a delicious Canadian showdown between the Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.

Still, a lot can change in the next nine games.

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  1. tbbolts91 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    The devils had a solid opportunity to take the cup last season so I honestly am unmoved by this. Good job B’s though, significant feat

  2. Stiller43 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Youre unmoved by the bruins beating tne devils in the regular season to take the NE division lead because the devils went deep in the playoffs last year? What?

    • tbbolts91 - Apr 11, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      Unmoved by the losing streak…

  3. gbditka - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    As a Devils Fan…Cut-n- Dry…Devils have no business in postseason as I’m curious to know if Lou didn’t put the best roster together or did Pete DeBoer not take care of business as head coach? Is it the players or roster becasue as a fan I know it’s not my fault!

    • gbditka - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      I pooched that….Is it the GM or Head Coach?

  4. nunan - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Still a lot of work to do for the Bs. That wasn’t a convincing win at all. I just think some of their star players are exhausted…I can’t come up with anything other than that. It’s been a month and half long phase of mediocrity. The injuries and resulting, constant shuffling of lines has a negative effect, I’m sure, but some guys just look so ‘off’. They can’t be satisfied with their play and you can see the frustration so if they could change it, I think they would. But you can’t get over being tired so maybe that’s why this has gone on so long. I always hear the ‘every team is going through it’ argument but if someone is tired, they’re tired, no matter what other players are going through. How long of a break is there between the end of the regular season and playoffs?

    • mgp1219 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:38 PM

      Totally agree nunan. The puck was in the B’s defensive zone far more than it was in their offensive zone tonight.
      Not a good sign considering the playoffs are right around the corner. Seems like other teams have figured out the Bruins breakout strategy. Frustrating.

  5. govtminion - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    When you go up 4-0, and barely squeak out 5-4… you need to have a frank discussion with your defensemen.

    • koyoteken - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      The B’s are not able to break out of the zone anymore. Both Carolina and New Jersey pinched in the D’s all night and basically played the game in the Bruins end. Needs to be fixed or we’re in trouble.

  6. dropthepuckeh - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Deceptively close? Not sure I agree with that but certainly another scary blown lead for the Bruins. It reminds me though – Habsman/ Blueballs aren’t the bruins a lock for 4th seed? It’s strange because it almost feels like they are #2 and challenging for #1 right now. Also it appears Jagr, 5 points in 4 games, might be a good addition. Fact not opinion.

    It will suck when the Habs lose to Toronto…

  7. 8man - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:59 AM

    Two things I noticed. The Devils did a good job of keeping the Bruins from maintaining assaults. The Bs only had 18 shots. Amazing they scored 5. And two, the Bs had to kill off 8 power plays! That’ll tire out the defense in a hurry.

    The Devils play the Bruins well enough to win. So it’s no surprise to me it was a one goal game. And given the penalty kills required, I’m not surprised the Bs tired in the end. So blowing the 4 goal lead may be more of an indictment of earlier sloppy play. Penalties will kill you in the playoffs. So will not being able to put someone away.

    And whether you are the 2 seed or 4 seed, if you aren’t sharp, you aren’t going anywhere. It’s in the Bs hands now. If they want the 2 seed, they have to find a way to win out.

  8. dropthepuckeh - Apr 11, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    To quote Habsman/ Blueballs from last week:

    “TRUE: Jagr looks disinterested (opinion but rather obvious, re-watch his shifts and see, buyers remorse incoming).

    TRUE: Iginla would not fit it with a classless wannabe rage-filled franchise (he even went as far as to request Penguins). He likes to play hockey not act like a villainous goon. DUH

    TRUE: Bruins are the 4th seed.”

    • tdrusher225 - Apr 11, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      He’s a troll. Don’t worry about it.

  9. hockeywithdrawal - Apr 11, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    With Zubrus and Elias contracts up this year, Henrique need a bigger contract…I’m wondering if the Devil’s should have been sellers this year instead of buyers. Tough spot when you are actually in the playoff race but probably not built to win the cup, although the Sharks did it and are actually looking better than they were before.

  10. koyoteken - Apr 11, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Some observations: Yes, it was almost a monumental collapse after going up 4-0 but at least they didn’t give up 40+ shots and hung on for the win. How about a 5 minute PP and not a single shot on goal? AND giving up a shorty? You have to like the PK but our PP is ridiculous. And someone please tell me what the hell Lucic is doing out there? Besides standing around? He was responsible for giving up the SHG during the major and was caught napping in the slot for another defensive lapse that resulted in a New Jersey goal. I love the guys intensity but please……he had an absolutely miserable game last night. Why CJ doesn’t demote him to the 3rd line I don’t know. Segs put in a much better effort and got results. It’s time to move Looch down or even sit him as a “healthy scratch” for tonights game. Send a message CJ.

    • scalfor3 - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      Agreed. Last time Claude sent a message and dropped Luc to the third line, he responded with a beastly goal. Then Claude immediately brought him back up to the first and he’s resumed his sleepwalking through the season.

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