The Boston Bruins play host to the Detroit Red Wings in a Saturday matinee meeting between the two Original Six franchises. The two teams will be playing the first of a back-to-back, home-and-home series against each other over the weekend. The Bruins will be looking to bounce back from a 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
The loss marked the first time they have lost a game in regulation after scoring the first goal, as the Oilers erased a 2-1 deficit in the final frame. The Red Wings have fallen out of contention for a playoff spot with a 3-6-1 record over their last 10 games. They currently sit seven points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild-card position in the Eastern Conference.
Tyler Bertuzzi Faces His Former Team For the First Time
One of the biggest storylines for the game is newly acquired Bruins forward, Tyler Bertuzzi, meeting against his former team just a week after being dealt to Boston. Don Sweeney, Bruins general manager, sent his 2024 first-round and 2025 fourth-round draft picks to the Red Wings in exchange for the rugged left winger. Bertuzzi had spent the first seven seasons of his NHL career with the Red Wings, scoring 88 goals and adding 114 assists in 305 games. He was drafted by the organization 58th overall in the second round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Over his seven years in Detroit, the 28-year-old Bertuzzi made many friendships; one of his best friends was Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin. Larkin took the news quite hard as he was visibly upset when speaking to the media about the trade.
Needless to say, for the first time in their careers, it will be friends-off when the puck hits the ice. Bertuzzi has slotted in on the Bruins’ third line alongside Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic. He posted an assist in his debut against the New York Rangers.
Bruins Continue To Chase History
Bruins forward Brad Marchand insists that nobody inside Boston’s locker room cares about breaking regular-season records, recently telling ESPN that, “People have talked a lot about some of these records, that we could potentially hit or we have hit. Nobody cares about those in this room. We could care less about any of these regular-season records. Because they really don’t mean anything.” While their eyes remain fixated on the ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup, Boston has a chance to set yet another NHL record. With a victory in today’s game, the Bruins will become the fastest team ever to win 50 games in one season.
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The record is currently shared by the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning and the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings. Both teams hit the mark in their 66th game of the season, and today’s matchup will be the 64th of the campaign for the Bruins. On an interesting side note, both the Lightning and Red Wings weren’t able to follow up their spectacular regular seasons with a Stanley Cup. The Lightning were infamously swept in the first round of the 2019 Playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets, while the Red Wings lost to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Final.
Players To Watch
Speaking of Marchand, the Bruins star has been a handful against the Red Wings. In 35 career games against Detroit, he has scored 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points. On March 6, 2018, he had a five-point game and set a franchise record by scoring his 11th career overtime goal in a 6-5 win over the Red Wings. More recently, while making his season debut this year, Marchand had another huge performance against Detroit, scoring two goals and adding an assist en route to a 5-1 Bruins win.
On the other side of the ice, all eyes should be on Dylan Larkin. After recently signing an eight-year contract extension with an $8.7 million average annual value, Larkin told reporters, “It’s always been where I’ve wanted to be. I’m really happy.” The 26-year-old leads the Red Wings with 24 goals and 36 assists for 60 points in 63 games this season. He has seven goals and seven assists in 22 career games against the Bruins.
Over their last 20 games against each other, Boston holds the edge with a 12-6-2 record while outscoring the Red Wings 72-53. Last season the two Atlantic Division foes split their season series 2-2. Tonight marks their second meeting of the season, with the first coming way back on Oct. 27. Boston won the game handily by a final score of 5-1. Marchand and David Pastrnak led the way offensively with three points each in the game.
The Bruins have an advantage on both special team units despite their power-play struggles of late.