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Preview: Bruins host Red Wings, 1/24

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A week separated from a real seesaw of a game - one that, like your old, rickety, rusty playground entertainment, left fans concussed just by watching - and the Bruins are entering freefall in the standings. A win over a depleted Red Wings squad would help things... some.

David Pastrnak's goal drought shouldn't be blamed for the Bruins' woes.
David Pastrnak's goal drought shouldn't be blamed for the Bruins' woes.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Just the facts:

Who: the Detroit Red Wings (20-19-8, 44 points, 6th in Atlantic, 13th in East)
visit the Boston Bruins (23-21-6, 52 points, 3nd in Atlantic, 8th in East)

What: Deja vu... at least, we hope not.

Where: TD Garden

When: 7:00 PM (Eastern)

How to follow: NESN, SportsNet, Fox Sports Detroit, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN Site: Winging It In Motown

Detroit Leaders:

Points: Henrik Zetterberg and Thomas Vanek, 31

Goals: Thomas Vanek and Dylan Larkin, 12

Assists: Zetterberg, 22

Shots: Dylan Larkin, 118

Boston Leaders:

Points: Brad Marchand, 45

Goals: David Pastrnak, 19 (OK. This is getting old.)

Assists: Marchand, 28

Shots: Patrice Bergeron, 174

Detroit Notes

Given the short time that has passed since these two teams met, let's just take a look at the differences from the last week. After Detroit's comeback and eventual shootout win against Boston six days ago, they dropped two overtime games, to Buffalo (gasp) and the New York Rangers (OK, they're pretty good). Coach Jeff Blashill is pulling his team up the standings one conciliatory point at a time, and as a result, the Red Wings are just four points back from a wild card spot.

Fortunately for Boston, it looks like Bruins killer Thomas Vanek and Detroit's own wunderkind Dylan Larkin will both miss tonight's game with lower- and upper-body injuries, respectively. Reports Dana Wakiji of the Wings media team: "It's obviously not fun to lose guys," (Detroit captain Henrik) Zetterberg said. "But we've been through it this year plenty of games. Guys that are going to play are ready and they'll do a good job."

Boston Notes

Now, let's look at the Bruins' week in review.

via GIPHY

After giving up two three-goal leads and deservedly losing to the Red Wings last Wednesday, the Bruins fought hard but lost a tight 1-0 game to Chicago in the last 90 seconds of regulation; however, any upward arc was washed away by a third-period drubbing at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins, leading to a 5-1 final. No OT/SO loser points, scoring one goal each against top-tier teams, Tuukka Rask getting migraines mid-game... this is not the Bruins we're looking for.

While there may be optimism in facing a Detroit lineup missing two of its top offensive players, it should be cautious optimism at best. To make matters worse, the division rivals with games in hand are making their moves up the standings. Toronto has jumped Boston for third in the Atlantic and though the B's are even with Philadelphia, the Flyers ALSO has games in hand, winning the regulation/OT win tiebreaker. The Bruins need nothing less than a win tonight to put themselves back in the Atlantic top three.

Never Forget