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Notes: Tatar getting shots, looking for more goals

Thomas Vanek out again; Niklas Kronwall, Tomas Jurco skate with team

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji / DetroitRedWings.com

DETROIT - Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill has reassured several players this season that their play was fine and the scoring would eventually come.

 

It happened for Dylan Larkin as he scored two goals against Carolina.

Now it would seem it is Tomas Tatar's turn. His coach is not worried about him.

 

"I think Tats has played really well both defensively and offensively," Blashill said. "I think for me, if he can keep playing at that level, production always follows good process."

 

Tatar does have one goal this season. Nov. 21 against Nashville, but considering the chances he's gotten, he probably should have at least a couple more.

 

"I feel pretty good on the ice," Tatar said. "I feel I'm doing lots of stuff right. I just couldn't find the net, which is on me for sure. I'm having my chances. Just have to do the same thing over again. After you score one or two you start feeling a little better."

 

Tatar is tied for the team lead in shots on goal with Larkin with 24.

 

"I feel if you wouldn't have your chances you would try to do something else but I'm feeling I'm having my opportunities during the game, I'm having my chances to score," Tatar said. "Unfortunately, they didn't find the net. But I think the team is playing well. The whole line is doing good. We're doing lots of great stuff out there. Just have to be more productive."

 

VANEK STILL OUT: Thomas Vanek, a late scratch for Thursday's game in St. Louis with a lower-body injury, did not skate Saturday morning.

 

"Day-to-day still," Blashill said. "If that becomes something else, I'll let you know. But right now, day-to-day. He will not play tonight."

 

LONG-TERM INJURIES: Both Niklas Kronwall and Tomas Jurco skated with the team Saturday morning.

 

Kronwall, 35, is dealing with chronic knee issues caused by wear and tear over his career.

 

"It's getting closer, that's for sure," Kronwall said. "I've been feeling really good here as of late, so hopefully in the near future I'll be practicing full out with the team and we'll go from there."

 

Kronwall said the main thing he needs to be able to do is handle the individual battling.

 

"Today was the first time we started getting into a little bit of battling stuff," Kronwall said. "Hopefully we'll do more of that over the next week and then we'll go from there. Everything's going to be based kind of on how it reacts but it definitely feels like we're in the right direction."

 

Jurco, 23, had offseason back surgery. He's been skating for a couple of weeks.

 

"I feel great, way better than before the surgery," Jurco said. "It's a good thing. Time, two to three weeks, so we'll see how it's going to go."

 

That projection for around the middle of November is right on schedule.

 

Although he hasn't played in a game in quite a while, Jurco feels his conditioning is pretty good.

 

"I've been working very hard," Jurco said. "Of course, it's a little different running the treadmill and doing all the workouts than playing a game or practicing with the team. I've been on the ice last couple weeks working really hard with Mike (strength coach Kadar). That helped me a lot. I feel very good but I still have a few weeks left. I'm going to make sure I'm going to be 100 percent ready."

 

Jurco said he's not yet cleared to take hits from teammates in practice but that will happen before he's cleared to play.

 

BRUINS OUTLOOK: Boston goaltender is expected to play tonight against the Wings after missing the last three games with an undisclosed injury.

 

"Obviously Tuukka's a really good goalie and he can change games," Drew Miller said. "I don't think it really changes our approach. You want to get pucks to the net, regardless of who's in the net. There's never an easy night in the league. I expect their D to tighten up and play a little bit more defensive maybe. From our standpoint, we just prepare the same and play our game."

 

In his career, Rask is 6-5-1 with a 2.94 goals-against average and .889 save percentage in 13 games against the Wings.

 

Jimmy Howard gets the start for the Wings in the first of back-to-back home games.

 

Howard is 5-3-1 with a 2.63 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 10 games (nine starts) against the Bruins.

 

Henrik Zetterberg has seven goals and 10 assists in 21 games against the Bruins. Tatar has five goals and four assists in 12 games against the Bruins.

 

For the Bruins, David Krejci has four goals and nine assists in 17 games against the Wings. Brad Marchand has five goals and five assists in 17 games while Patrice Bergeron has four goals and six assists in 19 games.

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