Red Wings-Bruins Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 24, 2011
The Boston Bruins have earned victories in a variety of ways during their winning streak, from the simple blowout to one-goal nail-biters to come-from-behind thrillers. It won't matter to them how they solve the Detroit Red Wings, just as long as they come out on top. Boston seeks its first 11-game winning streak in more than 40 years while looking to end a three-game skid against Detroit on Friday afternoon at TD Garden. The Bruins (13-7-0) have seemed to put their slow start behind them by scoring at least four goals seven times during their streak. They've won by at least three goals five times and have won four one-goal contests. Boston continued its streak with a 4-3 shootout win over Buffalo on Wednesday, rallying from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1. Tyler Seguin scored his team-leading 12th goal and added an assist, while Tim Thomas - who was coming off shutouts in his last two starts - won for the seventh time during the streak. He has a 1.55 goals-against average during that span. The Bruins seek their longest winning streak since taking 13 straight Feb. 23-March 20, 1971, though Thomas said they're not focused on the impressive run. "We don't discuss it hardly at all," he said. "I don't think about it at all until I'm reminded of it." The Bruins won't have to worry about further discussion unless they have an improved effort from their last few contests against the Red Wings. Boston hasn't beaten Detroit since a 4-1 victory Nov. 29, 2008. After the Red Wings won 2-0 on Nov. 3, 2009, Detroit swept a home-and-home series last season with the eventual Stanley Cup champions, winning 6-1 on Feb. 11 and 4-2 two days later. Jimmy Howard won each meeting last season by stopping 48 of 51 shots, and he may be in net Friday looking to help the Red Wings (12-7-1) to a fourth straight victory overall. Howard, 7-2-0 with a 1.85 GAA in his last nine starts, made 19 saves in Wednesday's 5-3 win over Calgary. Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists, giving him three goals and five assists over his last four games. The veteran forward had 10 points through his first 16 games. "When he starts feeling it, suddenly he's better, the team's better, the linemates are better and it's good to be around," coach Mike Babcock said. "He's jumping now and got some excitement in him." Tomas Holmstrom scored two power-play goals Wednesday as Detroit went 3 for 4 with the man advantage. The Red Wings entered the game with the league's 16th-ranked power-play unit, but shot up to ninth with a 19.3 percent conversion rate. "It's important. We haven't been stellar so far on the power play," said center Henrik Zetterberg, who had a goal and three assists in the wins over Boston last season. "Every goal we can take is good. Hopefully we can keep going." Four of Todd Bertuzzi's 16 goals in 2010-11 came against the Bruins, scoring twice in each meeting. Thomas is 1-3-0 with a 3.03 GAA in five appearances - four starts - versus Detroit.
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