The Boston Bruins will be hosting the Detroit Red Wings as the two clubs square off for the fourth and final time of the 2016-17 campaign. Fans across the country will be able to tune into the battle of the Original Six rivals with NBCSN carrying all the action.
The two clubs have met three times so far this season, with the Bruins coming out on top twice. In the most recent meeting on Jan. 24, the Bruins secured a 4-3 victory in overtime behind two goals from Brad Marchand and the OT winner from David Pastrnak. It took a full offensive effort to best the Red Wings with goaltender Jared Coreau stopping 45 shots.
Both the Red Wings and Bruins are hungry for a win after coming off of losses in their previous outings. On Tuesday, the Red Wings fell to the young Toronto Maple Leafs by a final score of 3-2. The Bruins last played on Monday in a losing effort to the Ottawa Senators. With both teams eager to get back in the win column and the Bruins playoff hopes on the line, the national audience should be looking forward to this matchup.
Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins
TD Garden-8:00 p.m. E.S.T
Broadcast Channels-NBCSN, TVAS, 98.5 The Sports Hub
2016-17 Season Series: Bruins Lead 2-1
Detroit Red Wings-25-28-11- 61 Points
Road Record: 13-14-6
Hot Players: Henrik Zetterberg, Anthony Mantha
Key Injuries: Jonathan Ericsson, Tyler Bertuzzi, Ryan Sproul
Gustav Nyquist-Henrik Zetterberg-Tomas Tatar
Andreas Athanasiou-Frans Nielsen-Anthony Mantha
Justin Abdelkader-Darren Helm-Dylan Larkin
Drew Miller-Riley Sheahan-Luke Glendening
Dan DeKeyser-Mike Green
Niklas Kronwall-Nick Jensen
Xavier Ouellet-Robbie Russo
Boston Bruins-34-26-6- 74 Points
Home Record: 17-14-0
Hot Players: Torey Krug, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron
Key Injuries: Ryan Spooner
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Backes
Drew Stafford-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano-Austin Czarnik-Jimmy Hayes
Tim Schaller-Dominic Moore-Riley Nash
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller-Colin Miller
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] On Monday night the Bruins squared off with the Ottawa Senators and suffered a 4-2 defeat. Following the loss, Tuesday brought unexpected bad news to the Bruins fan base as it was revealed Ryan Spooner suffered a concussion against the Senators. The injury will keep the 25-year-old forward out of the lineup indefinitely. Spooner has recorded 34 points this season and was showing signs of improvement under interim coach Bruce Cassidy. Due to the injury, Austin Czarnik has been called up and will slide in as the third line center.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] This matchup marks the fifth and final game of a long road trip for the Red Wings. Before this tilt, the Red Wings took a tour through Canada to face the Canucks, Flames, Maple Leafs and Oilers. The trip has not been very successful so far with just one win and three straight losses. The Red Wings will be looking to end the losing streak and return home on a positive note.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has been torturing opposing defenses over the last 18 games, registering seven goals and 22 points in that span. In that time, Bergeron has only gone without a point three times. Joining Bergeron on the list of streaking Bruins is defenseman Torey Krug. Krug has quietly posted a career year after starting the season off slowly. In his last 12 games, Krug has registered 13 points and has played solid on the defensive side of the puck. Fans will want to keep an eye out for both players when they take the ice against the Red Wings.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] Henrik Zetterberg, the veteran captain of the Red Wings, has had an off year by his standards but is starting to find an offensive rhythm. Zetterberg leads the Red Wings with 53 points in 64 games, but it is what he has done over his past five games that should scare the Bruins. In those outings, he has posted one goal and eight points, including two assists versus the Maple Leafs in his last game. Zetterberg has made a career by generating brilliant plays in the offensive zone, and the Bruins will have to keep an eye on him as he continues to heat up.
Every game for the rest of the 2016-17 season will be crucial for the Bruins and their playoff hopes, but this game has some extra importance. The Bruins cannot afford to lose to a team that has been struggling recently and give up two points they should be able to capture. Losing to a better team can be acceptable and rationalized, but forfeiting points to the last place team is hard to explain if you miss the playoffs.
At the trade deadline, the Red Wings traded away Thomas Vanek, Brendan Smith and Steve Ott which has impacted the team immensely. The Red Wings are going to need players outside of Zetterberg to step up to help the team produce wins as the season closes out. The Bruins should be looking to pounce on the Red Wings early and force the visitors to play from behind.
Anthony Pagliarulo is a Boston Bruins contributor for The Hockey Writers. He is a Massachusetts native and a Worcester State University alumni. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @APags87.