With nine games left, Devils can't afford to lose

Well, it was a helluva run.

But the New Jersey Devils are officially in a must-win, can't lose from here on out situation.

The Devils lost to the Boston Bruins, 4-1, on Tuesday night, and must win their last nine games to reach 90 points. And yet, that still may be enough to reach the playoffs. New Jersey (34-35-4) received no help on Tuesday night, as the Buffalo Sabres (81 points) and Carolina Hurricanes (78) both won and picked up two points on the Devils.

The Devils took an early 1-0 lead on Ilya Kovalchuk's goal midway through the first period, but they were unable to hold it as Boston came back to score four unanswered goals of their own.

New Jersey will resume play on Friday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.