Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
BOSTON – The Detroit Red Wings stumbled out of the gate with seven straight losses to open the season and the most lopsided defeat was an 8-2 beating at the hands of the Boston Bruins. The Red Wings earned a measure of revenge for that drubbing with a 3-2 overtime win on Nov. 21, but they will look to end a nine-game losing streak in Boston on Saturday night.
Detroit actually had dropped 11 in a row (playoffs included) at TD Garden, last winning a regular-season game in Beantown more than five years ago (Oct. 14, 2013). The Red Wings ended a more modest slide with Wednesday’s 4-3 win over St. Louis, halting a string of three straight losses to improve to 10-4-1 since an ugly 1-7-2 start to the season. The injury-riddled Bruins have won three of four since the loss in Detroit and are 4-1-2 in their last seven despite scoring two goals of fewer six times in that span. “If we want to win games, we have to be dialed in and can’t really afford to have a night off until we get our offense going,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Detroit Plus, NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (11-11-3): Forward Todd Bertuzzi showed he has a knack of rising to the occasion, scoring twice on his own bobblehead night and delivering the game-winning goal in the third period. Bertuzzi had scored only once in the previous 10 games before banging home a rebound for the decisive tally. ‘He’s one of those guys that doesn’t just work, he competes,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He finds ways to win pucks, gets stick on puck. We talk about hounding in the O-zone and hounding on the forecheck and that’s what he does. He goes to the net and he’s really good around the net.”
ABOUT THE BRUINS (14-7-4): Despite the paucity of offense over the past two weeks, the Bruins have thrived behind the goaltending tandem of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Rask had a shaky first month of the season but posted a 1.96 goals-against average in November and will make back-to-back starts for the first time since mid-October. “I don’t know. Maybe I just don’t want to play in October,” Rask said of his turnaround. “I don’t know. You just kind of work hard in practice, try to get some shots and work with the goalie coach, and then when the game time comes, you try to be there.”
1. Red Wings F Andreas Athanasiou has seven goals in the last 10 games, including two against Boston on Nov. 21.
2. Bruins D Brandon Carlo is expected to return to the lineup following a nine-game injury absence.
3. Red Wings D Trevor Daley will miss Saturday’s game after suffering a lower-body injury on Wednesday.