The Boston Bruins can temporarily enjoy some breathing room in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race, but that comfort could just as quickly depart with a poor effort to close out the weekend.
The Bruins complete their four-game homestand Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings, who look to avoid their first back-to-back regulation losses this season.
Brad Marchand played the hero for Boston (32-22-10) on Saturday with two dramatic goals against Philadelphia, scoring the game-tying goal with 15 seconds remaining in regulation and again in overtime for a 3-2 victory.
Boston holds the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and opened a five-point edge over the 11th-place Flyers. Florida, though, remained just two points back after its shootout win over the New York Islanders.
"Marchy showed a lot of character, and I think as a team we did also to get the tying goal," Max Talbot, who the Bruins’ acquired on March 2, told the team’s official website. "That’s an important two points for us at this point in the season."
The Bruins are 4-1-1 in their last six games after losing six straight (0-4-2).
"Just challenge after challenge and we’ve just got to face those things and get ourselves ready," Bruins coach Julien told the team’s official website.
Tuukka Rask made 29 saves and has a 1.97 goals-against average in his last five starts, but after appearing in 21 of Boston’s last 22 games, Rask could cede the net to backup Niklas Svedberg on Sunday.
Either Rask or Svedberg will be opposed by Detroit’s Jonas Gustavsson, who is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA in his last two meetings with Boston after five straight losses in the series.
Detroit (36-16-11) had a three-game win streak stopped with Friday’s 5-2 defeat to visiting Calgary, allowing five unanswered goals after Justin Abdelkader scored twice in the first 8 1/2 minutes.
Henrik Zetterberg assisted on both goals, and the Red Wings outshot Calgary 35 to 24.
"We controlled a lot of territorial play, did a lot of good things, but the puck went in our net," coach Mike Babcock said. "We had good chances tonight. Could we have been better? Absolutely we could have been better, but we had lots of play."
Another regulation loss Sunday would mark their first consecutive games without earning a point since March 25-27.
Pavel Datsyuk was held pointless for only the second time in eight games Friday, but could get back on the board Sunday. He has two goals and seven assists during a seven-game point streak against the Bruins.
This has also been a good matchup for Tomas Tatar, who has four goals and six points in his last five matchups with Boston.
Detroit won its season opener against Boston on Oct. 9, but has dropped the last two meetings. The Bruins scored three first-period goals in a 5-2 victory at Boston on Dec. 29.
The Red Wings, though, are 8-2-1 in the last 11 matchups.