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Banged-up Red Wings turn to Gustavsson vs. Bruins

by Brian Hedger

BRUINS (16-6-2) at RED WINGS (11-7-7)


Last 10: Boston 8-1-1; Detroit 2-3-5

Season series: This will be the third of four games between the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins, who split the first two meetings held at TD Garden. Boston won 4-1 on Oct. 5 and Detroit won 3-2 nine days later. They won't meet for the final time this season until April 2 at Joe Louis Arena.

Big story: The Bruins are hot after picking up a pair of overtime wins in their past two games, while the Red Wings continue to fight injuries in the midst of a disappointing start. Star center Pavel Datsyuk and veteran power forward Todd Bertuzzi, two-thirds of the usual top line, will miss the game with upper-body injuries.

Team Scope:

Bruins: Boston got its latest overtime triumph off the stick of rookie defenseman Torey Krug, who blasted a slapper past Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury 34 seconds into OT to pick up the second point. The goal gave the Bruins the win after Pittsburgh scored to tie it with just 0.3 seconds left in regulation.

"We've been through these kinds of situations before and I think the experience of that has helped us out," coach Claude Julien said. "We were calm and we just got ourselves ready for the overtime. To me, when you get scored on like that late, it can be devastating for certain teams. But it just made us probably a little hungrier. We went out there and showed some character, and then ended it early."

Red Wings: Detroit picked up a much-needed victory Sunday, beating the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on the road to split a weekend back-to-back set. The Red Wings are also without one of their top defensemen, rookie Danny DeKeyser, and top goalie Jimmy Howard is going through a rough patch. Howard, who signed a six-year contract extension last season, hasn't won since Nov. 1 against the Calgary Flames, a career-high span of seven games. Jonas Gustavsson will get the start against the Bruins.

"It's just the way it's going right now," Howard said. "I can't really put my finger on it, but I'm not going to get down about it, that's for sure. I thought the season started off good. It's just been the month of November that hasn't been very kind. It's just something I have to work through. It's just something I have to deal with."

Who's hot: Boston's Loui Eriksson snapped a three-game pointless skid with a goal and two assists against the Penguins, and both Reilly Smith and Zdeno Chara have scored goals in the past two games. … Daniel Alfredsson returned from a five-game injury absence for Detroit and contributed a goal and assist against Buffalo. Darren Helm scored a goal for the third straight game.

Injury report: Defensemen Adam McQuaid (lower body) and Dennis Seidenberg (lower body) are day-to-day for the Bruins. … DeKeyser (upper body) is expected to miss at least a month, Datsyuk is working through concussion protocols and Bertuzzi has an undisclosed upper-body injury that he said isn't related to the back injury that sidelined him nearly all of last season.
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