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Need to Know: Bruins vs. Red Wings

Boston attempting to get back on the winning track

by Chris Weyant @NHLBruins /

BOSTON - The Bruins (34-26-6, 74 points) were unable to close the gap on second place in the Atlantic Division on Monday night, dropping a 4-2 contest to the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.

Ottawa's sit back and trap approach became effective after scoring the first two goals of the game on their first two shots, forcing the Bruins to press the issue and work from behind all night.

"Every team goes, out there, they want to get the first goal," said Krug. "Statistics prove that if you get the first one, you have a better chance of winning."

Monday's game was the rare occasion where the Bruins haven't been able to score first as of late.

Finding themselves down, 2-0, early, Krug and the rest of his teammates were unable to break through Guy Boucher's patented 1-3-1 neutral zone trap, which suffocated the Bruins and prevented them from carrying speed into the offensive zone.

"I think they get an early lead, and their system is beneficial when they get that lead," said Torey Krug. "We fell into that trap in the second period for sure. I think if we find a way to get through that neutral zone, we can get a different outcome from the game."

On To Detroit

Despite falling to Ottawa on Monday, the Bruins still hold the inside track on a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. The B's will face the Red Wings at TD Garden on Wednesday night, looking to pick up an important two points in the national spotlight.

Though Detroit sits in last place in the Atlantic Division, the Bruins know the Wings will present a tough test. In their last matchup on January 24 at TD Garden, the Red Wings took the B's to overtime, where David Pastrnak scored the eventual overtime winner.

The Red Wings were unable to offer the B's any standings relief on Tuesday, dropping a 3-2 contest to the Maple Leafs. With the victory, Toronto moved just two points behind the Bruins with a game in hand, making a hold of serve all the more important.

With a late arrival back in Boston early Tuesday morning, interim head coach Bruce Cassidy decided to hold an optional skate instead of a full practice. The team opted for some video work to try and get back on track.

"Saved a little physical energy by not practicing today," said David Backes. "But had a check in, reviewed some video, and see some things - tendencies that are giving us success - but other things that are causing us problems and not allowing us to have the success last night that we wanted to."

The Bruins haven't lost back-to-back games since February 1 and 4, before Cassidy took the reins behind the bench.

"We still have a lot of good games ahead of us, and it's a big challenge," said Pastrnak, who wants his team to be weary of falling into any sort of slump. "We're still fighting for the playoffs, and every point is big for us. We can't let any points go."

Down a Man

The Bruins will take on Detroit without third-line centerman Ryan Spooner. Spooner suffered a concussion during the game in his hometown of Ottawa on Monday, and is currently going through the NHL concussion protocol.

The injury comes at a non-ideal time for the 25-year-old pivot, who has seven points in his last ten games, seeming to find solid chemistry with Frank Vatrano and Drew Stafford.

Austin Czarnik was recalled from Providence, and could figure to slot in Spooner's place if he is unable to go on Saturday.

Czarnik had five points in five games since being returned to Providence, working his way back from injury.

Bergeron Stays Hot

The Bruins may not have been able to pull out a victory on Monday, but Patrice Bergeron was able to maintain his torrid scoring pace with another goal.

Bergeron has registered at least a point in 15 of his last 18 games, with 22 points (seven goals and 15 assists) in that span.

After a slow start to the season, the B's alternate captain has heated up in a big way, providing a consistent scoring threat on the top line.

Where to Watch

Wednesday night's puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. Viewers can tune in to NBC Sports Network, while radio listeners can find the broadcast on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

The two Original Six teams have a storied history against one another. Wednesday's matchup between the B's and Wings marks the 596th contest between the two teams. The Bruins hold a 245-251-95-4 record all-time.

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