DETROIT — Welcome to Joe Louis, an arena that could become familiar to the Bruins and Bruins fans in the next couple of weeks. Detroit, which has made its way back into the playoff picture despite the losses of several key players, could be the first-round matchup for the Bruins, though they currently have the first wild card spot and would be matched up against Pittsburgh if the playoffs started today.
It’s also the site of one of the Bruins’ worst losses of the season, a 6-1 defeat on the day before Thanksgiving.
“They’re a good team. They’re going to give a lot of teams problems,” coach Claude Julien said. “They’re well-structured and no matter what, when you look at their injuries, anybody that’s well-structured is still going to give you a good game, and they’re one of those teams. That’s been one of the reasons that they’ve beaten us twice.
“So I think both teams are going to be ready to play and I don’t know if we’re really going to analyze this game as whether one team will have more success against the other, but we do know it’s an important game for both teams.”
Game time: 8 p.m.
TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 52-17-6, Red Wings 35-26-14
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Matt Bartkowski-Torey Krug
Andrej Meszaros-Kevan Miller
Notes: Reilly Smith will face off against brother Brendan tonight. The Smith parents are in town for the game, along with brother Rory. … The Bruins are currently on a 16-game point streak, at 15-0-1, with the only blemish their shootout loss to the Canadiens. They’re also still on their road winning streak, with nine straight wins on the road, a new club record. They have points in each of their last 16 road games at 13-0-3. … David Krejci (sore throat) and Carl Soderberg (wife expecting) seem good to go for the game, though that won’t be a certainty until gametime. … Pavel Datsyuk, meanwhile, will not return for the Red Wings tonight.