BOSTON - The Bruins will be looking to break their three-game losing streak Saturday night when they travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings in the teams' first meeting of the season.
Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Here is what you need to know:
What to Watch For
The Bruins have allowed 14 goals over their three-game losing streak. There is no doubt shoring up things in their defensive zone is of high priority.
It will certainly help those matters if ace goalie Tuukka Rask is back between the pipes against the Red Wings. Rask returned to practice on Friday and said he was feeling better, but Bruins coach Claude Julien would not commit to Rask getting the start.
"He's coming on the trip. We'll see," said Julien. "As long as he's feeling good, we'll go day by day, but he's good enough to practice, he's good enough to backup at least right now.
"We've gone this far, we're going to make sure we make the right decision, not the reckless one."
Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre, who each got a start over the last two games, were at practice Friday, though Julien said one of them would be sent to Providence prior to the game.
"We've let them down," Torey Krug said of the young goalies. "Those guys have come in here and worked hard. We've had so many breakdowns, we left them out to dry. I don't know how you're supposed to stop a guy skating into a one-timer in the slot.
"A lot of that falls on our shoulders as players and defensemen, especially. We'll all take the blame for that."
Video: Rask back at practice before Bruins head to Detroit
The Red Wings are the hottest team in the NHL - along with the Montreal Canadiens - having won six straight games after dropping their first two contests of the season. During that stretch, the Red Wings have outscored their opponents, 21-8.
Offseason free-agent acquisition Thomas Vanek is pacing Detroit with eight points (four goals, four assists) through seven games, though he missed the Red Wings' last game with a lower-body injury. Gustav Nyquist also has eight points (three goals, five assists).
Defenseman Mike Green is fourth in the NHL among blue liners with seven points (three goals, four assists). Darren Helm is second in the league at plus-10.
Goalie Peter Mrazek has received the majority of the playing time thus far, posting a 4-2-0 record to go along with a 2.48 goals against average and .925 save percentage. Jimmy Howard has won both of his starts and allowed just one goal, good for a .984 save percentage.
The stellar goaltending has placed the Red Wings fourth in the league in goals against (2.25).
Detroit is 3 points behind Montreal (15 points) for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
Wait, There's More
- David Backes will not be with the team in Detroit after having a procedure on his elbow earlier in the week. His status will be reevaluated after the weekend.
- The Bruins will be without forward David Pastrnak, who was suspended two games by the NHL for an illegal hit to the head on New York Rangers' defenseman Dan Girardi during Boston's 5-2 loss on Wednesday night.
- The Red Wings are in the midst of their final season at Joe Louis Arena, the place they have called home since 1979. The Bruins make one more trip to Detroit on January 18. Little Caesar's Arena will open next season.