The Detroit Red Wings take on the Boston Bruins for the first time at Joe Louis Arena this season at 7:30 p.m. EST tonight.
The Red Wings have been able to win games of late and still sit in the think of things despite the losing streak, but if they could win tonight it would make things must easier for them. If Detroit wins they would pull within 3 points of first place in the Atlantic and if they lost they would be at least 6 points or three wins off the pace.
Boston’s last three games have gone into overtime and they were able to win two of the three games because they are receiving scoring help from every line and the defense. On that note, despite the fact that Loui Eriksson was the main cog in the trade for Tyler Seguin, it is Reilly Smith who has produced more points.
The Red Wings have a 263-254-95 overall record against Boston and have won 62.3% of the games at Joe Louis Arena.
Since 2010, the Red Wings have only lost one game against the Bruins and that was this season in Boston (5-1-0); they have not lost to the Bruins at home since 2007.
Jimmy Howard will be charting face-offs again tonight, which could mean he is still nursing the flu or Babcock has decided that Gustavsson is the better option right now. I cannot blame him if it is the second one.
The return of Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss has provided a boost for the Red Wings, while they are down two forwards. While Datysuk is not replaceable, Alfredsson brings a lot of leadership and skill to help offset it a little bit.
As for the defense, all they need to do is not create opportunities for the Bruins, if they can do that it will be a successful game for them.
Prediction: With Gustavsson between the pipes again to night and the fact that the team seems to perform better while he is in net I am going with a 3-1 victory.