(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will make their North American season debut when they visit the struggling New Jersey Devils tonight at Prudential Center.
The Bruins began the 2010-11 campaign by playing the Phoenix Coyotes in a two- game series at the O2 Arena in Prague. Each team won a game in the Czech Republic as the Coyotes posted a 5-2 rout in the opener before Boston rebounded for a 3-0 victory on Sunday.
Tim Thomas posted 29 saves to blank the Coyotes last weekend and the former Vezina Trophy winner could get the start tonight based on that performance. Tuukka Rask, who won the starting job from Thomas last year, was shelled for four goals on 36 shots in last Saturday's loss to Phoenix.
Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin scored for the Bruins in their Czech victory, while David Krejciposted a pair of helpers. Thomas also added an assist in the win.
Although they are back in North America, the Bruins won't play their home opener at TD Garden until Thursday night against Washington. Boston will begin a home-and-home with the Caps this Tuesday in D.C.
On the injury front, Bruins defensemen Andrew Ference (thumb) and Dennis Seidenberg (illness) are both expected to play tonight.
The Devils have just one win in five games (1-3-1) this season and were handed a regulation loss Friday night by visiting Colorado. Chris Stewart and T.J. Galiardi each scored a goal and added an assist in the Avalanche's 3-2 victory and the Devils remained winless (0-2-1) at Prudential Center this season.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Matt Taormina both finished with a goal and an assist for the Devils. Taormina's tally was the first of his career, while Kovalchuk, who landed a lucrative 15-year contract from New Jersey this offseason, notched his second goal in as many games.
Martin Brodeur allowed all three goals on 22 shots in defeat and the future Hall of Famer is now 1-3-1 with a 3.00 goals-against average this year.
"We just got to keep doing what we're doing. I think we're going to be all right," Brodeur said. "The momentum -- you've got to score timely goals in the game, and we've had a tough time doing it."
The Devils have been hampered by injuries early this season, especially on defense. Blueliners Mark Fraser,Bryce Salvador and Anssi Salmela are all out indefinitely, while Anton Volchenkov is expected to miss his fourth straight game with a broken nose tonight.
New Jersey took three out of four from Boston last season, but the Bruins were able to post a 1-0 overtime victory in the final 2009-10 encounter between the clubs. The Devils have still taken five of seven and six of nine overall and Boston has also dropped five of its last seven games in the Garden State.