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Red Wings want to play faster, get Nyquist going

by Staff

The Detroit Red Wings are emphasizing speed heading into Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series Tuesday against the Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D) at Joe Louis Arena.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1 after the teams split the first two games at TD Garden. The Red Wings played a faster brand of hockey in defeating the Bruins 1-0, but Boston emerged as the more physical team in a 4-1 win in Game 2.

"A team always pushes back after a loss, they up the ante," Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith told after an optional practice Monday. "That's something we're going to have to do. We have to play our style, that's what helped us against them this year."

The Red Wings won their final three games against the Bruins in the regular season and won 1-0 in Game 1, before losing Sunday.

"We need to use our speed, play fast," Smith said. "I don't think they can keep up with us if we do that. We looked at it and we're going to do it [Tuesday]."

One Detroit player looking to get going is forward Gustav Nyquist, who had 12 goals and 18 points in March, but hasn't scored since April 2 against the Bruins at Joe Louis Arena.

"Now suddenly, instead of being a guy no one even heard of like last year in the playoffs, you're a guy they've heard of," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told the Detroit Free Press. "Space is probably a little harder to come by. You just gotta find your game.

"Thing I know about [Nyquist], he always seems to find his game. I'm not concerned. I had a chat with him [Sunday] night on the plane. I expect him to be very good."

Nyquist, who led the Red Wings with 28 goals in 57 regular-season games, said he needs to use his speed to get more involved offensively.

"Shoot the puck and try to get on the inside," he said. "Gotta spin off those big guys and try to get in front of the net. That's where the goals are going to be scored. That's something I have to improve, for sure."

Babcock is looking for improvement in all areas.

"I thought our power-play breakouts and entries were awful. I thought our penalty-kill forecheck wasn't good," Babcock said. "They scored some easy goals we can't have. I didn't think we played fast or executed as good as we could. Give them credit, we were better than they were in Game 1 and we weren't as good (in Game 2)."

Forward Tomas Jurco and defenseman Brian Lashoff were the only Red Wing players who played Sunday to skate Monday. Center Henrik Zetterberg (back) skated for five minutes, joining defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (finger), forwards Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Cleary (knee) and Mikael Samuelsson, and goalie Jonas Gustavsson on the ice.

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