Bruins-Red Wings Preview
An uptick in offense helped the Boston Bruins rebound from their most lopsided loss, even as their top scorer was sidelined for the first time this season.
A little more might improve their already impressive streaks on the road and against an Atlantic Division rival.
The Bruins might again be without Patrice Bergeron on Sunday when they try to continue their success away from home by beating the Detroit Red Wings for the seventh straight time.
Boston (30-19-6) suffered an embarrassing 9-2 home loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday but bounced back with Thursday's 6-2 win at Winnipeg and Saturday's 4-2 victory at Minnesota to open a season-high six-game road trip.
Those gave the Bruins six consecutive wins on the road and improved them to 13-3-3 away from home since Nov. 8. Their 18-5-3 road record is second to only Washington's and has helped offset a 4-7-1 stretch at home since Dec. 22.
''I wish I could transport that to our home games, but we just seem to be ready to play and seem to be able to continue to play more or less, for the 60 minute span,'' coach Claude Julien said.
Bergeron leads Boston with 47 points and scored twice against the Jets, but he sat out against the Wild with an undisclosed injury and is day to day.
Boston averaged only 2.25 goals in eight games from Jan. 21-Feb. 9, but it has scored in five of its last six periods. Brad Marchand has goals in 11 of the last 12 games, including each of the last six. His goal Saturday was his 19th career short-handed - the most of any player since he entered the league in 2009-10.
Marchand has been held mostly in check in 15 career meetings against the Red Wings (28-18-9), but the Bruins have still dominated the series.
Boston has won the last six games and 10 of 11, including four straight to close a 2014 playoff series. That stretch includes wins in five of six in Detroit and two more to open this season's series - a 3-1 home victory on Nov. 14 and a 3-2 overtime win on Nov. 25 at Detroit.
"It just seems like they find ways to beat us," Detroit center Darren Helm told the Red Wings' official website. "We're playing good hockey right now and we've got to find a way to beat them. It's a really big game coming up."
That solid play has resulted in Detroit's 3-0-1 start to a five-game homestand, though its three-game win streak was snapped with Friday's 3-2 shootout loss to Colorado - in which the Red Wings finished one off a season high with 45 shots.
Petr Mrazek had another strong game despite the loss, stopping 19 of 21 shots. He has a 0.98 goals-against average while starting each game of Detroit's homestand. Mrazek, who will start on his 24th birthday Sunday, holds the top save percentage (.952) and GAA (1.22) of any goaltender who has started more than three games since Jan. 4.
He is still searching for his first career victory against the Bruins, though, after losing the first two matchups this year to fall to 0-2-1 against them with a 3.01 GAA.
Tuukka Rask has fared much better for Boston, going 8-1-0 with a 1.51 GAA in his last nine starts against Detroit, including playoffs.