Bruins Game 26 Preview: Detroit Red Wings

Brad Marchand, Jimmy Howard

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By: Drew Johnson | Follow Me On Twitter: @doobshmoob

The Boston Bruins will host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night at TD Garden. It will be the third time the two teams meet this season with the Bruins nabbing three points and Red Wings snagging two points in the two prior matchups.

Detroit, sporting an 11-11-3 record, are fighting to stay out of the last place in the Atlantic Division. On the other hand, Boston is inching closer to the top of the division’s standings with a 14-7-4 record. Still, it should be a heated game for some important points – Detroit is just three points out of wild-card spot, after all.

Who’s Hot?

Tuukka Rask has been stellar after taking his leave of absence. Since returning to action, Rask has gone 2-0-2 with just seven goals against and a very impressive .944 SV%. The netminder will get the start once again when Boston faces Detroit on Saturday. We’ll soon see if his mind has remained clear and he is still capable of snagging a win for the Bruins.

John Moore has also been impressive as of late. With numerous injuries to Boston’s back end, Moore has taken to the spotlight. The blueliner averaged 22:40 in ice time per game during the month of November and should continue to see similar totals in early December. Brandon Carlo will be returning on Saturday and is expected to be playing alongside Torey Krug which would mean Matt Grzelcyk is partnered with Moore. It hasn’t seemed to matter who Moore plays alongside, however. He has been solid defensively and has even made an effort to contribute to Boston’s offensive flow.

Dylan Larkin continues to be Detroit’s biggest threat up front. The young forward has nine goals and 12 assists in 25 games. Across the two games the Red Wings have played against Boston this season, Larkin notched a goal and averaged 18:34 in ice time. In his last five games, the 22-year-old has been held to a goal and an assist, however, but is always a threat to break out at any time.

Tyler Bertuzzi is coming off a strong showing. The winger potted two goals on Wednesday in a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues. Despite seeing significantly less ice time than some of his peers, Bertuzzi has still been able to consistently produce. In fact, he is ranked fourth in point production on the Red Wings entering Saturday’s game.

Who’s Not?

Danton Heinen hasn’t been too bad. He has certainly improved his two-way game and has seen his fair share of chances. However, Heinen has lacked execution. The winger hasn’t produced a point in eight games and has only registered 11 shots during that span. Execution is something Boston needs from their depth right now, and simply pitching in with an assist could get Heinen going once again.

Heinen Zetterberg

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

After impressing during his rookie season with 25 points in 68 games, Martin Frk has been suffering from the notorious sophomore slump. The 24-year-old has just one goal and one assist in 13 games thus far, averaging less than nine minutes per contest. Frk’s plus/minus rating has been in the red in five of his last six games while averaging just 8:46 of ice time. He needs to step up his game soon if he is to overcome this slump.

Bruins vs. Red Wings Outlook

The Bruins finally have Carlo back but are still missing some key pieces. However, that hasn’t been too much of a problem for the boys in black and gold. It really makes you wonder how the team could be performing if they were 100-percent healthy.

Detroit has a tough test ahead of them on Saturday, but they have already proven that they are capable of beating the Bruins – they did beat Boston 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 21st after all. In that game, the Red Wings’ young forwards led them past a batter Bruins defense. They could very well do the same on Saturday, though a red-hot Rask may have something to say about that.

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