Just the Facts:
Game Time: 7:00 PM
TV Broadcast: NHLN-US, FS-D ,NESN
Radio Broadcast: 98.5 The Sports Hub, 97.1 The Ticket
Rival SB Nation Site: Winging It in Motown
Series Record: Bruins 0-0-0 vs. Red Wings 0-0-0
Season Record: Bruins 7-7-1, 15 points | Red Wings 8-7-1, 17 points
The Boston Bruins host the 2nd game of their season-long five-game homestand tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. Boston, 5-4-1 in their last ten games, is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night, in which they held a two-goal lead in the opening ten minutes, before seeing it given away before first intermission. The Bruins have held a lead in six of their seven home games thus far, including two-goal leads in three of those. Yet they've left with two points in just one of those seven games.
The team has allowed an astounding 29 goals against at home (4.09 GAA), compared to their 3.10 GPG average. Of the 26 skaters that have dressed for the team this season, only 7 have even or positive +/- ratings, them being Marchand, Chara, C. Miller, Kelly, McQuaid, Seidenberg, and Khokhlachev--and the last two barely count. The most apparent has been Kevan Miller, with a -6 at home this season. Miller, a +6 away from TD Garden, has been as Jekyll & Hyde all year, and made the game-losing turnover on Thursday night before Matt Duchene sniped the go-ahead goal. With a bottleneck of defenseman in the pipeline and on the 9th floor, it'll be interesting to see how tight of a leash he has going forward.
Speaking of Jekyll & Hyde performances, Tuukka Rask is looking to kick the slump he's been in at home as well. Rask looks like his old self on the road, with a 3-1-0 record, .934 SV% and 2.01 GAA. But at home? It's a shaky 1-5-1 record, with his SV% plummeting to .866, and his GAA rising to a 3.89. He's also got a losing record against the Red Wings through his career, going 4-5-0 with a 2.87 GAA and .893 SV% in the regular season. The play in front of him has been plain awful at points, but if the Bruins want to contend for a playoff spot come the spring, Rask has to be better. If backup Jonas Gustavsson gets the start against his old team tonight, it would be Monster's first game in net at TD Garden for the Bruins. Goose has faced the Red Wings twice in his career, going 2-0-0 with a .947 SV% and 2.00 GAA.
The Detroit Red Wings are traveling to town after a late game last night in which they fell to the San Jose Sharks. This will already be their 5th back-to-back game of the season. Unfortunately, they're 3-1-0 on the second half of a back-to-back so far. The Red Wings have had a difficult time scoring this season, sitting at 27th in the league in scoring - (2.25 GPG). That's in part due to their truckload of injuries, including lead magician Pavel Datsyuk, who hadn't dressed for a regular season game until last night. Add to that Johan Franzen, Brendan Smith, Brad Richards and Kyle Quincey, and you'd think a hobbled team would be struggling to stay relevant in the standings.
Luckily for the Wings, their goaltending tandem has been simply outstanding. Up until last night, both Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard had a GAA of 2.07, with Mrazek getting the edge in SV% at .938. After allowing 3 goals in each of his first three starts, Mrazek has bounced back strongly, allowing 3 goals in just one of his last six games. Also they have the newly-extended Justin Abdelkader, who Ken Holland locked up for the next +7 years. Why? Who knows. Abdelkader has 27 goals over his last 86 games, aided by an unsustainable 15.1% shooting percentage.
Detroit only has four players with double-digits in points this season, with Tomas Tatar getting his 10th last night. Unsurprisingly, they're led by the beard of Henrik Zetterberg who has been an absolute force on the powerplay, with 11 of his 15 points coming with the man advantage. The always dangerous, rarely passing Gustav Nyquist leads the team with 6 goals on the year. Nyquist is slowly taking over Tomas Vanek's role of in-division Bruins killer, with 5 goals and 6 points in his seven games against Boston.
Tim Thomas's first win against the Detroit Red Wings back in 2006-07. Marc Savard had a three-point game that night, bringing his season total to 88 points in just 69 games played. Patrice Bergeron lead the team the previous season with just 73 points.
The game pulled away from Boston after the 35-minute-mark. As most do. Sigh.