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Gameday Preview: Bruins-Red Wings Game 3

Bruins Special Teams.jpg

The Bruins will look to take a 2-1 series lead and regain home ice advantage over the Red Wings on Tuesday night. Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily.

Granted they’ve only played at the Joe Louis Arena four times since 2007, but the Boston Bruins have not beaten the Detroit Red Wings in their barn in seven years. The Black and Gold will look to change that and carry their momentum from Game 2 on Tuesday night as the first round series shifts to “The Motor City” for Game 3.

Gameday details:

Series details: Tied 1-1
Game 3 puck drop: 7:30 p.m.
Networks: NESN, Fox Sports Detroit, NBCSN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Location: Joe Louis Arena

Bruins projected lines:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Justin Florek-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Jordan Caron-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Andrej Meszaros-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask
Chad Johnson

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Red Wings projected lines:

Johan Franzen-Pavel Datsyuk-Justin Abdelkader
Gustav Nyquist-Reily Sheahan-Tomas Tatar
Tomas Jurco-Darren Helm-Joakim Andersson
Drew Miller-Luke Glendening-David Legwand

Niklas Kronwall-Brendan Smith
Kyle Quincey-Danny DeKeyser
Jakub Kindl-Brian Lashoff

Jimmy Howard
Jonas Gustavsson

Morning skate update

Joakim Andersson, who hasn’t skated since the Red Wings’ regular season finale last Sunday, returns to the Detroit lineup filling in for Daniel Alfredsson, who is out for Game 3 with a back injury. In 65 games during the 2013-14 campaign, the 25-year old Swede tallied eight goals and nine assists. Andersson will skate with Tomas Jurco and Darren Helm on the third line.

After suffering from the “flu bug”, Matt Bartkowski joined the Bruins, skating along with Torey Krug on the third defensive pairing. If he’s in, then you can expect Kevan Miller or Andrej Meszaros to sit in Game 3. But Claude Julien is known to tinker the pairings right up to gametime, so don’t put any stock into the morning skate pairings. We’ll find out more during warmups on where things stand.

Daniel Paille (concussion) and Chris Kelly (back) did not participate in the morning skate. Both will be out of the lineup again, but the two have been skating with John Whitesides, so it won’t be surprising to see either back in full pads in the near future. Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid also skated with Whitesides after the B’s took the ice in the AM.

Who to watch for in Game 3: Niklas Kronwall and Reilly Smith

Yes, the Brendan Smith-Zdeno Chara exchange from Game 2 is well detailed by now, but much like our preview in Game 2, we’re going in a different direction.

After trying to play to the Bruins’ strength in Game 2, the Red Wings will want to stay away as much as possible from the Big Bad Bruins and use their finesse game. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t throw their bodies around, though. And that is why they’ll want to use Niklas Kronwall’s physicality. The Swede is the Wings’ hardest hitter and is a very solid two-way defenseman.

Even if Mike Babcock wants to get in the B’s faces, he can go back to what worked in Game 1 where they played a tight game in the neutral zone and didn’t give the Black and Gold many quality scoring opportunities. That is an area where Kronwall also excels at and he’ll look to lead the way in Game 3.

Brendan Smith wasn’t the only Smith brother who generated buzz on Easter Sunday. His brother, Reilly, also had his share of moments in Game 2, including a power play goal in the first to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. It came at a good time for Reilly Smith, who slumped for most of the second half of the season.

Even though the goals haven't come too often for him of late, Smith still crashed the net looking for opportunities, and that came in handy when Loui Eriksson cleared the way for him to bury a loose puck past Jimmy Howard in the opening stanza. That is a good way to build confidence for the former Miami (Ohio) star.

Gameday edge: Special teams

Through two games, the Bruins penalty kill has allowed a grand total of zero goals in six attempts. Their power play, a source of ridicule throughout the Hub of Hockey in the Julien era, has scored twice in five opportunities.

Its safe to say that, through two games, the B’s have the special teams advantage, but with the series shifting to Detroit, the Wings’ skill will eventually generate more power plays. As good as they’ve been, especially in Game 2 where they allowed one shot in four chances, the Black and Gold will need to tighten up a little more when they’re on the penalty kill, especially with the Wings getting last change.

On the other hand, that Bruins power play, is as good as ever. And it can be quite the game changer during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as long as they get their share of opportunities on the man advantage.

A look back at Game 2

Check out what the Bruins had to say following their 4-1 Game 2 victory Sunday afternoon:

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