Detroit at Boston
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
BOSTON – The Boston Bruins are trying to keep pace with the league-best Tampa Bay Lightning as they resume their six-game homestand against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night. The Bruins are riding a three-game winning streak and trail first-place Tampa Bay by six points in the Atlantic Division with three games in hand on the Lightning.
Boston was less than three minutes from its first shutout loss since the second game of the season before rallying for a 2-1 victory over Montreal on Saturday, its second overtime victory in three games. “We’ve been through it so many times this year and different guys have stepped up numerous times,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. “We know we have a lot of character and can rely on different guys every night.” The Red Wings appeared destined to miss the playoffs for the second straight season, sitting nine points out of the eighth playoff spot and mired in a three-game slide. Detroit has dropped five straight in the series and has lost seven in a row in Boston, including a 3-1 defeat on Dec. 23.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, TVAS, Sportsnet, NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (26-29-10): Offense continues to be a major issue for Detroit, which has scored five times during the three-game skid and hasn’t produced more than three goals in 11 straight games. “It’s an easy time for frustration to build, and there’s nothing wrong with being frustrated now and we should be,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “If you’re not, you probably shouldn’t be a competitor.” Dylan Larkin has scored only nine goals, but he has collected five assists in seven games to give him a team-high 39 assists and 48 points.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (40-15-8): Already missing top goal scorer Patrice Bergeron, Boston’s lineup will be further depleted with the absences of defenseman Charlie McAvoy and starting goaltender Tuukka Rask. McAvoy, who was hurt in Saturday’s game, was wearing a knee brace Monday and has been ruled out while Rask is bothered by a “very minor” injury that is lingering. “You don’t want to go through your whole lineup and start losing good players every night, but teams go through certain stretches and we’re no different right now,” coach Bruce Cassidy said.
1. Marchand has two goals and five points in two matchups against Detroit this season.
2. Red Wings G Jimmy Howard has allowed eight goals in losing three starts (0-2-1) versus Boston this season.
3. Boston is 4-for-11 on the power play and 8-for-8 on the penalty kill in the past two games.