Tonight’s game marks the first meeting of two of the NHL’s heavyweights, now slotted into the same division. The Red Wings are intent on making it back to the playoffs for a 23rd consecutive year, while the Bruins are trying to get back to the Stanley Cup Final for what would be the third time in four years.
This is the first of four meetings between the clubs after they played each other twice in the preseason. Of course, those games didn’t feature full lines or normal defensive pairings, so it’s hard to take anything out of those. Detroit is handicapped a bit, with this game as their third in four days. They won last night in Carolina.
“It’ll be fun,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “We look forward to it. Everything about today’s game for our team, it’s a real great opportunity because it’s three-in-four and it’s back-to-back. To me it’s about how mentally tough you are. It’s about … sticking to your plan, doing it right.
“In every game someone gives in, you can’t give in today. You’ve just got to find a way. I don’t care if your legs are sore or any of that stuff or where we played. I want to see who’s mentally tough and who’s going to do it right. Tonight should be a good test for our team and we look forward to it.”
Game time: 7 p.m.
TV/Radio: NHL Network/NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 1-0-0, Red Wings 2-0-0
Notes: This is the first meeting of the teams now that they’re together in the Atlantic Division. … Detroit and Boston did not face each other in the lockout shortened 2012-2013 season. … The Red Wings have won the last four straight games against the Bruins. … Brothers Reilly Smith and Brendan Smith will face each other in tonight’s game. They played against each other in the preseason. … The last time the Bruins and Red Wings were in the same division was in the East in 1972-1973. … The last shutout between these two teams? Way back in 1982, when the Bruins won 7-0 on Nov. 7.