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Notes: Detroit has intense practice in Boston after rough Jersey loss

Wings hope to continue success against Bruins; Perlini skates with team

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

BOSTON -- The calendar may have read Feb. 14 but the Red Wings didn't seem to be in the mood to celebrate Valentine's Day or any other holiday for that matter.

The bitter taste of allowing four goals in a four-minute span in the third period in Thursday's 4-1 loss at New Jersey lingered during practice Friday at Boston's TD Garden.

Wings coach Jeff Blashill put the team through their paces as they did some extensive battle drills for most of the brief but intense practice.

Tweet from @Dwakiji: #RedWings battle drills.

"We just gotta make sure we understand it's not okay," Blashill said. "We walked out of Buffalo, we played a good game, we didn't win. Sometimes you don't win, you play a good game and you don't win. You look at the process, you're all right with that. I wasn't all right with it last night.

"So I want to make sure our guys understand that it's not okay and we're not just clicking off games here. We're going to do everything we can to win hockey games and what we did last night wasn't good enough."

Although the Wings are not fighting for a playoff spot, that doesn't mean there aren't important things to play for right now.

"I think there's lots to be played for," Blashill said. "Individually there's certainly lots on different guys' plates, whether it's contracts, whether it's really solidifying spots in the NHL, solidifying spots on our hockey team. But I think more importantly though is those that want to be part of this long-term solution here, we're gonna take steps the rest of the year and if you want to be part of a long-term solution, you're doing everything you can to make sure we're taking steps in the right direction."

When things start to snowball as they did in the third period Thursday, it can be a challenge to keep it from sliding further downhill.

"As it's going in the game, the only thing you probably have is a timeout and sometimes those work and sometimes they don't at all," Blashill said. "You get three of them in a period with the TV timeouts. Guys gotta step on the ice and dig in and they gotta change momentum with their shifts and we didn't obviously do that last night. Now we gotta react to it. We gotta be better tomorrow than we were."

SUCCESS AGAINST BRUINS: The betting odds will certainly favor the Boston Bruins in Saturday afternoon's matchup.

But the odd fact is, despite Detroit's 14-41-4 record and Boston's 35-11-12 record, the Red Wings have won each of the last five matchups in the series, their longest since a nine-game winning streak from Dec. 18, 1992 - Dec. 22, 1997.

"It's hard for me to say that for sure," Blashill said. "We went through a stretch where we couldn't beat them for a long, long time and then we've kind of found ways to win games here. They certainly had their chances in the last game. I know we'll get their best. They're locked into a big race with Tampa right now to try to get that top spot so I know we'll get their best tomorrow. I don't really know that answer but I know we better be ready to play tomorrow."

Both games the Wings have beaten the Bruins this season have been at Little Caesars Arena, a 4-2 win Nov. 8 and a 3-1 win last Sunday.

Saturday's contest will be at the far less friendly confines of TD Garden, where the Bruins are 20-2-9, the league's best home record.

"They got a whole bunch of really good two-way players and if you look at their centers for sure, up the middle, they're really, really good up the middle, really good two-way, what I call winning hockey players," Blashill said. "Obviously you got super dynamic wingers on that top line with (David) Pastrnak and (Brad) Marchand. I mean, super dynamic. I watched the game the other night and they make something out of nothing. There are very few players in the league that can do that.

"So you got that type of dynamics complemented with really good two-way forwards and then a really good D corps. Their D corps is built well, they got that size, they got skill, they got a puck mover, they got a defender. Then you take that and you got a great goalie, so you're going to earn lots of points with that. I think their coaching staff's done a really good job and I think they're a really, really good team."

Pastrnak is tied with Toronto's Auston Matthews for the league lead in goals with 41 and tied for second with Edmonton's Connor McDavid for the league lead in points with 81. Only Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl has more with 90. Marchand has 71, seventh in the league.

Goaltender Tuukka Rask leads the NHL in goals-against average at 2.11 and is tied with Columbus' Elvis Merzlikins for first in save percentage at .930.

PERLINI SKATES: Just three days removed from a terrifying incident in which he took an opponent's skate to his face, forward Brendan Perlini practiced with the team Friday.

Tweet from @Dwakiji: Just as #RedWings Ericsson was able to ditch the full face shield, now Perlini has to wear one. But good to see Perlini back on the ice.

"I really didn't know what to expect to be honest," Perlini said. "I was feeling quite good after it happened. It's obviously a lot of stitches and stuff like that, once you kind of settle down from that and everything kind of wears off and I was feeling quite decent, so it was nice to get back out there today and I've got the full shield on there, so kind of messing around with that and as long as that's kind of protected, feeling good out there and the body is feeling fresh."

Perlini didn't seem to be too bothered by the full face shield.

"It was all right, I don't know if I want to go with a cage, a full thing like that, it's really tough to see with that, so what they did was quite good," he said. "We still have to mess around a little bit. It's tough kind of seeing like down here, but yeah it was not bad as long as it's like all protected, that's the main thing. I don't really want to mess around with that. I want to have everything protected."

Although his right eye has black and blue marks and his nose is half covered in stitches, the swelling has diminished considerably from even a day ago.

"The swelling is a lot better for sure. I can feel it," Perlini said. "I haven't really looked at it and I can tell like vision-wise it's good, it's just a lot of bruising around the eye and to be honest, my nose is still a little bit numb. I am sure that will go away in time, but yeah, feeling quite decent."

There is still no timetable for Perlini's return.

NO HELM, HRONEK, GREEN: Forward Darren Helm and defensemen Filip Hronek and Mike Green did not skate with the team Friday in Boston.

"I think that all three are gonna be fine but I'll know more tomorrow," Blashill said.


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