(SportsNetwork.com) – Looking to salvage what started out as a pretty good
month, the Detroit Red Wings try to push their winning streak to three games
in a row on Monday night when they visit the Boston Bruins.
The Red Wings have picked up back-to-back wins on the heels of losing six
straight, but they do have points in nine of 12 games in December (5-3-4) to
sit second in the Atlantic Division with 47 points.
The Bruins are sixth in the division with 39 points.
Detroit stayed in the win column with Saturday’s 3-2 overtime decision against
the Ottawa Senators, with Gustav Nyquist putting on a show in the bonus frame
to close out the contest with 48 seconds on the clock.
The 25-year-old controlled the puck and skated around the Senators zone for 28
seconds before finally finding space to unleash a wrist shot from the left
circle for his 15th goal of the season. That effort came after he had three
assists in last Tuesday’s win over Buffalo.
“The guys did a good job of creating some space for me,” Nyquist said. “It was
nice to see it go in at the end.”
Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist, Justin Abdelkader also scored and
Niklas Kronwall supplied two helpers for the Red Wings. Jimmy Howard turned
aside 31 shots in his return from a groin injury that held him out of the
previous two games.
The Bruins have been less successful this month with eight losses in 12 games
(4-6-2), but appeared to be turning a corner ahead of Saturday’s matchup with
the Columbus Blue Jackets. Boston went in having won three of four, but was
then routed 6-2 by hosting Columbus.
Patrice Bergeron and Craig Cunningham scored for the Bruins, while backup
Niklas Svedberg allowed three goals on 15 shots before getting lifted less
than seven minutes into the second period. Tuukka Rask made 12 saves in
relief, also allowing three goals.
“It’s hard to find words after a game like this,” Bruins defenseman Zdeno
Chara said. “We started putting some (wins) together and climbing the
standings, and now here we go again.”
Both Bergeron and Milan Lucic are day-to-day with undisclosed injuries, having
not practiced on Sunday. Neither has been ruled out for this game, but forward
Jordan Caron was recalled from the minors.
The Bruins have lost eight of their past 10 against the Red Wings, but did
snap a four-game series losing streak with a 3-2 shootout victory in Detroit
on Oct. 15.
The Red Wings have won three of their past four in Boston and Howard has gone
an excellent 5-1-1 in seven career starts versus the Bruins with a 1.95 goals
against average and .937 save percentage.
Conversely, Rask is just 2-5-1 in eight matchups with the Red Wings, posting a
3.10 GAA and .877 save percentage.