Boston at Detroit
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
The Detroit Red Wings are aiming for their first three-game winning streak since the first two weeks of the season when they host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday in their second straight matchup against an Original Six rival. Detroit is coming off a 1-0 victory over Montreal to earn back-to-back home wins for the first time since Oct. 22-25.
The Red Wings own the longest playoff run among the four major professional sports with 25 consecutive postseason appearances, a streak that appears to be in jeopardy despite the consecutive wins over reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh and Montreal. Still, Detroit is only seven points behind second-place Boston in the Atlantic Division with three games in hand. The Bruins also have been wildly inconsistent, winning back-to-back games only once since Dec. 7, and are coming off a 4-0 home loss to the Eastern Conference-worst New York Islanders. "As much as you don't want it to happen, maybe we thought that it was going to be an easier game than it actually was against them.," Boston's Patrice Bergeron said.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVAS
ABOUT THE BRUINS (23-19-5): Forward Matt Beleskey, who has been sidelined for the past 22 games due to a knee injury, will accompany the team to the Motor City, although it's uncertain if he's ready to return to the lineup. "I haven't been told he's a go yet, but he's getting pretty close," coach Claude Julien said of Beleskey, who has only two goals in 24 games in a disappointing second season in Boston. The Bruins have scored five power-play goals and allowed four with the extra skater in the past four games.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (19-19-6): Thomas Vanek supplied the lone goal in the 1-0 victory over the Canadiens, giving him seven tallies in his last 10 games and 12 on the season. "He's been a really good fit for us. He's got an unbelievable offensive mind," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "He's got a really, really high IQ offensively and then he's got a pretty unique skill set for us." Vanek, who is riding a six-game point streak, has tormented the Bruins throughout his career with 31 goals and 64 points in 59 games.
1. Bruins G Tuukka Rask blanked the Red Wings 1-0 in Detroit on Oct. 29.
2. Red Wings G Petr Mrazek is 0-5-1 in his last six decisions while rookie G Jared Coreau has two shutouts in his last four starts.
3. Boston has won eight of the last nine matchups between the teams.
PREDICTION: Bruins 3, Red Wings 2
Stats and Records