Tonight is the first real test for the Red Wings, as they take on division rival and former Original Six foe Boston.
What: Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins
When: 7 p.m. tonight
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Records: The Red Wings are 2-0-0; the Bruins are 1-0-0
Coaches: Mike Babcock is 447-236-19-90 in his 11th season as a head coach, and 378-174-75 in his ninth season with the Red Wings. Claude Julien is 348-218-10-73 in his 11th season in the NHL, and 257-146-56 in his seventh season with the Bruins.
Season Series: The Red Wings won the lone meeting in 2011-12 3-2 in a shootout.
|Justin Abdelkader||Pavel Datsyuk||Henrik Zetterberg|
|Johan Franzen||Stephen Weiss||Daniel Alfredsson|
|Daniel Cleary||Joakim Andersson||Todd Bertuzzi|
|Drew Miller||Cory Emmerton||Tomas Tatar|
|Niklas Kronwall||Jonathan Ericsson|
|Danny DeKeyser||Jakub Kindl|
|Brendan Smith||Kyle Quincey|
|Jimmy Howard (starting)|
|Brad Marchand||Patrice Bergeron||Loui Eriksson|
|Milan Lucic||David Krejci||Jarome Iginla|
|Jordan Caron||Chris Kelly||Reilly Smith|
|Shawn Thornton||Gregory Campbell||Daniel Paille|
|Zdeno Chara||Johnny Boychuk|
|Dennis Seidenberg||Dougie Hamilton|
|Adam McQuaid||Torey Krug|
|Tuukka Rask (starting)|
Red Wings Update: The Wings had to rally late to knock off the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime last night. Weiss scored the winning goal, while Zetterberg tied the game with 17 seconds left. Abdelkader also scored his first goal of the season. Through two games, the Wings have gotten pretty balanced scoring, as five different players have a goal each. In terms of injuries, Patrick Eaves (knee), Darren Helm (groin), Jonas Gustavsson (groin), and Jordin Tootoo (shoulder) are all out. Tomas Tatar will make his season debut tonight.
Bruins Update: The Bruins opened their season with a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly, and Milan Lucic each scored, while Tuukka Rask made 32 saves. After a tough loss in the Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Bruins performed a bit of a roster overhaul, as they sent Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverly to Dallas in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, and Matt Fraser. They also lost Nathan Horton and Jaromir Jagr in free agency, but were able to sign Jarome Iginla. The moves have many pundits picking the Bruins to not just win the Atlantic Division, but also the Cup. Carl Soderberg (ankle) is out for tonight's game.
Centers: Both Datsyuk and Bergeron were finalists for the Selke Trophy last season, and could be finalists again this season, as they are around 60% faceoff winners. Krejci hasn't gotten off to a strong start this year, but Kelly has been a terror, as he won a whopping 70% of his draws in the opener. Weiss looks to have settled in with the Wings at second-line center, but the real test for him could be tonight. Andersson will likely have his hands full with Kelly.
Wingers: Boston's wingers will play very physical, but like the Red Wings, the scoring is fairly balanced among them. Eriksson and Iginla have seen the Red Wings plenty of times in their careers. Iginla has been a pain for the Wings in recent years. Lucic and Marchand both have great skill and great annoyance ability. It should be fun watching Abdelkader and Franzen use their size to match the Bruins. Alfredsson has six points in his last ten games against Boston, and he has seen them plenty of times in his career. Bertuzzi has been a thorn in the side to the Bruins in the last three meetings, and could mix it up with one of the Bruins. For the record, Reilly Smith is the younger brother of Wings defenseman Brendan Smith.
Edge: Slightly to the Bruins
Defensemen: Chara could probably suit up for the Boston Celtics with his size (6-9). He also has the most deadly slap shot in the league. Youngsters Hamilton and Krug played well at the end of last season. Kronwall and Ericsson are looking more and more like a shutdown pair for the Wings. Quincey might be on a shorter leash after he got victimized on both goals against the Canes.
Special Teams: Neither team has scored a power play goal this season. Both penalty kill units have been strong, but the Bruins PK scored two shorthanded goals Thursday.
Goaltending: Both Howard and Rask are considered candidates for Vezina Trophy, and both were awarded hefty contract extensions in the offseason. When their teams have faced each other, it has been Howard who has had the last laugh, as he is 3-0-0 with a 1.62 GAA and a .947 save percentage in three games against the Bruins. Rask is 0-1-1 with a 4.00 GAA and a .860 save percentage in two games against the Wings, but most of that is due to giving up five goals in a game in February 2011.
Edge: Red Wings
Prediction: Games between these two teams will be must-see TV. A close game can be expected, and the game could go either way. However, given that the Wings had to rally to beat the Canes in OT 24 hours earlier, pulling out another win in a hostile environment might be too much to ask.
Make It: Bruins 3, Red Wings 2
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