By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Wednesday night marks the first meeting of the season between the Bruins and their Atlantic division foe, the Detroit Red Wings. It’s also the Bruins’ first game ever at the Wings’ brand new Little Caesars Arena. So, they’re undefeated in that building, which is nice.
The Bruins catch the Red Wings at a time where Detroit is seriously reeling; the Wings are just 1-5-4 in their last 10 games, and they’re coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the Panthers on Monday. There’s a chance that the B’s get the best possible effort out of a frustrated and pissed off Red Wings team – but the reality is, at 11-13-6 and 13th in the conference, Detroit is just not a good team right now.
The Bruins, meanwhile, are going in the opposite direction as they’ve won eight of their last 10. Still, they’re only four points ahead of the Red Wings in the standings. It’s looking like they will need to hold on to a top-3 spot in the Atlantic to end up making the playoffs, due to the far superior strength of the Metropolitan division – so of course, every point matters.
Here’s what you should know ahead of Wednesday night’s Bruins-Red Wings contest:
— Tuukka Rask will start again in goal. It’s his sixth start in the Bruins’ last seven games, and they’ve won four games in a row with Rask starting. He’s coming off a strong effort against the Islanders on Saturday, stopping 30 of 31 shots.
— Kevan Miller gets the night off due to the birth of his first child with his wife Haley. Of course, congratulations are in order for the Miller family!
— Head coach Bruce Cassidy said that the plan is for Paul Postma to take Miller’s spot in the lineup, with Miller returning on Thursday night at home against the Capitals.
— Ryan Spooner (lower body) will be out of the lineup for the third straight game.
— The Bruins have played some of the lowest-scoring games in the NHL. Although they’ve scored the second-fewest goals (78) in the Eastern Conference, they’ve also allowed the second-fewest (75).
— Despite being in something of a rebuilding process right now, the Red Wings are actually the oldest team in the league with an average age of 29.1 years, according to NHLNumbers.com.
Bruins: 14-9-4, 32 points, 3rd in Atlantic Division
Red Wings: 11-13-6, 28 points, 13th in Eastern Conference
RED WINGS STAT LEADERS
Goals: Anthony Mantha, 12
Assists: Dylan Larkin, 19
Points: Dylan Larkin, 23
Avg. Time On Ice: Mike Green, 22:48
Wins: Jimmy Howard, 9
Goals Against Avg.: Jimmy Howard, 2.90
Save Percentage: Jimmy Howard, .906
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, CBS, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.