Bruins-Red Wings Preview
Though the Boston Bruins had little trouble taking care of the Detroit Red Wings during the 2014 playoffs, recent regular season meetings have been a different story.
The visiting Bruins can snap a three-game skid by avoiding a fifth consecutive regular-season defeat to the Red Wings on Wednesday night.
Detroit (1-1-0) won three of four matchups with Boston last season but couldn't carry that success into the first round of the playoffs, losing to the Bruins in five games.
Winners of eight of nine non-playoff meetings with Boston, the Red Wings enjoyed some modest payback with their fifth straight regular-season home victory over the Bruins, 2-1 on Thursday.
"They're one of the teams everyone is talking about to be Stanley Cup favorites, so it's good for us," forward Justin Abdelkader told the Red Wings' official website after that contest.
The defeat began the three-game slide for the Bruins (1-3-0), who have managed two goals during that span.
"I think it's a matter of confidence right now, it's just us believing in ourselves that we can win hockey games," defenseman Dennis Seidenberg told the team's official website. "Right now, we're gripping our sticks a little tight."
Boston thought it had earned at least a point Monday before Colorado's Daniel Briere scored with less than a second left in regulation, giving the Avalanche a 2-1 road win - the Bruins' third result of the season by that score.
"It's frustrating, but we've got to take positive things out of the game and move on and try to build on it in Detroit - and we've got to get a win," said forward David Krejci, who logged 19 minutes of ice time after missing the first three contests with an undisclosed injury.
Looking to avoid its first four-game slide since April 11-20, 2013, Boston faces a Detroit club that's been off since a 3-2 home defeat to Anaheim on Saturday.
The Red Wings took a 2-1 lead early in the third but the Ducks tied it shortly after and won on Ryan Getzlaf's goal with 24 seconds left.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock was upset after replays showed Getzlaf might have hooked defenseman Niklas Kronwall before getting free with the puck. In the end, the Red Wings had to settle for building on the positives from that contest.
"I think you want to play the best teams," Kronwall said. "You want to gauge yourself, see where you're at. I thought our structure worked pretty well."
Johan Franzen recorded two of his three assists in the first meeting with the Bruins, helping set up second-period goals by Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist. Franzen has six assists in the last four regular-season games against Boston.
Jimmy Howard, who faced 17 shots against the Bruins last week, is 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average versus Boston at home in the regular season.
Tuukka Rask fell to 0-3-0 with a 3.74 GAA at Detroit during the regular season after seeing 24 shots Thursday.
With a goal last week, Patrice Bergeron has two and four assists in the last five regular-season and playoff games against the Red Wings.