NHL

Bruins-Devils Preview

The Boston Bruins had plenty of scoring opportunities in their attempt to win consecutive games for the first time this month, but an inability to capitalize on them resulted in yet another defeat.

Caught in a tight playoff race, the Bruins could have trouble scoring again Friday night against Cory Schneider and the New Jersey Devils, who may have signaled the end of their own postseason push by trading Jaromir Jagr.

Boston (29-22-9) snapped a six-game losing streak with a 6-2 win in Chicago on Sunday, but followed with a 2-1 loss to Vancouver on Tuesday.

It wasn't for a lack of chances. The Bruins scored 1:05 into the game and peppered the Canucks with 41 shots, but they went 0 for 4 on the power play.

"We started off pretty good there," Daniel Paille told the Bruins' official website. "We were able to capitalize on the first shift, but unfortunately, we couldn't get any more after that as a team. We had chances to take a couple-goal lead there, but we just didn't execute for most of the game."

Even with its six-goal performance Sunday, Boston ranks toward the bottom of the league with 2.40 goals per game in February. However, the Bruins sit among the NHL's best with an average of 32.4 shots on goal in that same span.

"I think that the only thing we talk about here is pretty simple: It's not the offense; it's the lack of finish," coach Claude Julien said.

New Jersey's stellar goaltending could keep the Bruins' slide going. Schneider has a 1.34 goals-against average in the Devils' last five games, but their four-game winning streak ended with Wednesday's 3-1 loss to Calgary.

Schneider allowed two or fewer goals for the 13th time in 14 appearances before the Flames added an empty netter. He owns a 1.78 GAA at home this season compared with 2.67 on the road.

"Sometimes you play well and lose," Schneider told the Devils' official website. "I know how much everyone wanted this game so it's tough. We just have to get up for Friday."

They'll have to get up for it despite a trade that may have signaled general manager Lou Lamoriello's desire to set up the team for the future. New Jersey (25-27-9) dealt Jaromir Jagr to Florida on Thursday for a pair of draft picks.

Lamoriello doesn't see the deal as a white flag.

"Timing is something that sometimes that you don't and can't control. (The trade) had nothing to do with us winning or losing (Wednesday) night," Lamoriello told the NHL's official website. "(It) gave us an opportunity to acquire two picks that we feel can help us in the future.

"... By no means are we feeling that we're out of the race. When transactions like this take place, it gives opportunities for people to come forward."

The Devils are eight points behind Boston for the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot, though there are three teams between them and the Bruins.

Jagr had gone a career-high eight games without a point, but Michael Cammalleri has done his part to revive the Devils' attack. He has five goals and an assist in his last four games after scoring New Jersey's lone goal against the Flames.

Cammalleri has gone 11 straight regular-season games against Boston without a goal.

Tuukka Rask has a 1.51 GAA in nine career matchups with the Devils, his second-best mark against any team he's faced at least five times.

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