Matchup: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings
Venue: Joe Louis Arena; Detroit, MI
Time: 7:30 PM EST
Television: National- NHL Network
The Detroit Red Wings (11-7-7, 29 points, 4th place Atlantic Division) got a much needed two points on Sunday evening when they were able to defeat the Buffalo Sabres on the road. The win brought the Red Wings road record to a fantastic 7-3-1, the best in the Eastern Conference. On the other hand, the Red Wings are a mediocre 4-4-6 at home including a recently snapped eight game home losing streak. The Red Wings will look to establish consistency at home and overall when they host the Atlantic Division leading Boston Bruins (16-6-2, 34 points, 1st place Atlantic Division) tonight.
The Red Wings went into Buffalo with a chip on their shoulder after dropping their second game this season to the Ottawa Senators in disheartening fashion. After they found themselves down 1-0 following the first period, they were able to strike with the tying goal 30 seconds into the second period. There would be no more scoring until the third period when the Red Wings were able to break the tie with a powerplay goal by Johan Franzen midway through the third period. Daniel Alfredsson was able to add an empty net goal to give the Red Wings the 3-1 victory, their second in three games after dropping seven games in a row. Despite the struggles of the powerplay in the game against Ottawa, the Red Wings powerplay continued to be effective and it will be critical to keep it going against Boston.
Boston comes into this game four out of their past five games with their only loss coming in a shootout to the hottest team in the NHL, the St. Louis Blues. After a somewhat slow start to the season, the Bruins have been able to put together strings of wins with minimal losses to jump to the top of the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference by three points. The Bruins lead the league in goals against averaging only 1.8 goals against per game. The penalty kill also ranks towards the top of the league at 85.9% success rate.
The Red Wings will be without Pavel Datsyuk for the second straight game after the elbow he took to the head in Saturday night’s game. The injury is a big blow to the Red Wings as they are also missing one of their top defensemen in Danny DeKeyser.
The Red Wings will be turning to Jonas Gustavsson in net for the second straight game after he played very well in Buffalo holding the Sabres to only one goal. Gustavsson has been solid in the starts that he’s made this season though Howard is still considered the team’s number one goalie.
The Bruins are expected to counter with Tukka Rask in net tonight as he goes for his 14th win of the season. Rask is 1-1-0 against the Red Wings this season with him allowing three goals in the last game, a 3-2 loss in Boston on October 14th. Rask is one of the elite goaltenders of the NHL and does not give up many goals, so it could be difficult for a Red Wings team struggling on offense to get many past Rask.