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B's

Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

This one hurts as much as a Zdeno Chara slapshot to the wrist. While the rival (and eighth-place) Rangers won in a shootout to move four points head of the Devils, New Jersey lost what felt like a microcosm of their entire season. There was the awful start, injuries to key players affecting the team and the Devils coming up just short of a tie game and a guaranteed point in overtime. Like I said, this one hurts. Some thoughts...

Fragile: It's a word Pete DeBoer used to describe his team after the Devils allowed three early goals despite the Bruins taking four penalties in five minutes AND Martin Brodeur stopping a penalty shot. It seemed a wildly appropriate description for a team that has been known to cave at the end of periods, surrender goals in bunches and lose their heads in their own zone. There's a reason why the Devils always seem to play better after DeBoer calls a timeout. He can read whether they need a kick in the ass or a moment to breathe and then suddenly, they look like a different team. It happened tonight and it's happened countless other times this season. The team's psyche is fragile and they don't have enough extraordinarily talented players on the roster to carry them through rough patches. Without Ilya Kovalchuk, it's a collection of "guys" -- some with high-quality talent, but most without. A "fragile" team combined with a limited roster is a bad combination and it's why they've gone one two very bad losing streaks this season. This is not a team that can answer the bell and fight through adversity, which is so strange since it's nearly the same team as last year's that basically made adversity its 24th man on the bench. THIS is where we're seeing and feeling the loss of Zach Parise, who's attitude, work ethic and willingness to buy in no matter what would drive the Devils through difficult times. Maybe Travis Zajac or Adam Henrique will get there some day, but they're not there now.

Tags: Andrei Loktionov, Boston Bruins, Bruins, BRYCE SALVADOR, B's, Devils, Devs, Ilya Kovalchuk, Martin Brodeur, Marty Brodeur, Matt D'Agostini, New Jersey Devils, PATRIK ELIAS, Pete DeBoer, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Stephen Gionta, Zach Parise
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Can the Devils can off their slide and back into the playoff picture tonight?

Who: Boston Bruins at New Jersey Devils

When: 7:30 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 7:00 p.m. ET

Tags: Boston Bruins, Bruins, B's, Devils, Devs, Gameday, New Jersey Devils
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Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

If you can play better in a loss, I'd like to see it. OK, maybe if you scored some goals, but I'm not sure how much more the Devils could've done tonight. They dominated puck possession, neutralized the Bruins' offense and put tons of pucks on net -- all to come up with nothing. Even worse, with the way things are unfolding around the East, they've fallen out of the playoff picture for now. Not a good night, to say the least. Some thoughts...

Everything but the kitchen sink: The Devils did it all tonight. They threw pucks at the net, they deked the Bruins out of their jocks (Andy Greene says "Hi" Shawn Thornton) and they had Tuukka Rask running all around his crease. Yet, at the end of the day, it was a zero on the scoreboard. While I've spent countless posts here lamenting the Devils' lack of a finisher, never was it more apparent than tonight. Say the Devils didn't get "puck luck" and I'll say you're being naive. Tell me the Devils should've scored four times tonight and I'll respond, "But they didn't." None of this is to say the Devils played poorly in the offensive end; it was quite the opposite. The Devils did so many things well tonight, reducing the Bruins (arguably the second-best team in the East) to nothing more than partners in an optional skate. But the one thing they didn't do outweighs all the positive because this time of the year isn't about "building." Just like coffee, April is for closers, which is one thing the Devils have been woefully lacking since January 19. There's no relying on Ilya Kovalchuk's return. It's not coming "anytime soon," according to Pete DeBoer. That means "future Hall of Famer" Patrick Elias, "budding power forward" David Clarkson and promising young centers Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique need to start putting pucks into the net. Devils fans ask if this team can make a run like last season but tonight was 60 minutes worth of reasons why they might not even get the chance.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Andrei Loktionov, Boston Bruins, Bruins, BRYCE SALVADOR, B's, DAVID CLARKSON, Devils, Devs, Ilya Kovalchuk, Lou Lamoriello, Martin Brodeur, Marty Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, PATRIK ELIAS, Pete DeBoer, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, TRAVIS ZAJAC, Zach Parise
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The Devils will try to stop the slide against one of the East's top teams.

Who: New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins

When: 7:00 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 6:30 p.m. ET

Tags: Boston Bruins, Bruins, B's, Devils, Devs, Gameday, New Jersey Devils
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Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | AP recap

Moose taketh and Moose giveth away: First, let's get something out of the way: Johan Hedberg was fantastic for 98 percent of tonight's game. He was the only reason they were still in it after another slow start (getting tired of writing that) and he helped the Devils keep it close in the third period when the Bruins began to press -- particularly on the 2-on-1 power-play rush. Hedberg also made some fantastic saves in the shootout and that poke check play was so vintage Moose and perfectly timed. All that said, he probably should've stopped the Bruins' lone goal, despite the slight deflection off Henrik Tallinder's stick. He definitely shouldn't have allowed that shootout winner either. It looked like there was about five feet of space in his five hole on the shot. In the end, he had a great game with two mistakes, but those mistakes are what cost the Devils the win.

Ya too close, man!: Thought tonight was too close for comfort? Yeah, get used to that feeling. As long as Lou Lamoriello insists on not adding a top-six forward, the Devils will play in a lot of one-goal games this season. In fact, the only game so far determined by more than one goal was the Devils' 3-0 win over the Flyers one week ago. In order to get by with this kind of play, the Devils need to shore up the poor starts, limit the giveaways while doing a better job picking up trailers (which was a big problem tonight) and get very good to excellent goaltending on a nightly basis. The other thing they have to do is practice their shootouts, which were the Devils' bread and butter last season. However, this year, with a lack of impact skill players, the Devils' top shootout guys will have to be consistently effective. I mean, when Marek Zidlicky is your No. 6 shootout guy, you've got some problems.

Tags: Boston Bruins, Bruins, B's, Devils, Devs, New Jersey Devils, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Stefan Matteau
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In easily one of the most bizarre moments of the season, someone in the crowd at TD Bank Garden tonight threw something onto the ice and in the direction of Devils goalie Johan Hedberg during Tyler Seguin's shootout attempt.

https://twitter.com/Ledger_NJDevils/status/296454368281120771

Hedberg admitted he was distracted by the flying hot dog (Shaun White's new nickname?) and the refs forced Seguin to shoot again. Of course, Seguin scored again anyway, but I'd expect this didn't over too well at the NHL's offices. Can you imagine if this had happened on NBC? Wait -- if something bad happens and it's not on NBC, does it even happen? Hmmm.

Tags: Boston Bruins, Bruins, B's, Devils, Devs, Johan Hedberg, New Jersey Devils, Tweets
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David Clarkson and the Devils look to rebound from their first loss of the season in Boston.

Who: New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins

When: 7:00 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 6:30 p.m. ET

Tags: Boston Bruins, Bruins, B's, Devils, Devs, Gameday, gameday, New Jersey Devils
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