Babcock, Wings desperate for victory Wednesday

The Wings know that the Bruins will be focused and ready to compete after losing three straight games.

Brad Rempel

It may only be the third game of the regular season, but Mike Babcock believes that his 1-1 Red Wings are desperate for a victory Wednesday night when they host the Boston Bruins.

"We need it big time. All you got to do is look at the standings," Detroit’s coach told reporters after Wednesday’s morning skate. "As soon as you’re below the line (playoff line — top 8 conference teams) you’re not in a good spot. We’re below the lines.

"Boston and us have both lost games in the last second recently. Both teams really need wins. It should be fun."

After winning their first game of season, the B’s have lost three straight entering Wednesday’s contest and the Wings know that the Bruins will be focused and ready to compete.

"Anytime we play Boston, no matter what their record is it’s going to be a tough game. They’re very well coached," said Justin Abdelkader. "They’re a team that’s been a perennial Stanley Cup contender each year. They’re always a tough matchup for us.

"We’re getting to know them pretty well. I think that’s part of being a division rival. That’s good for the fans. It’s an Original Six matchup which is always exciting."

Detroit’s lineup will remain the same with Daniel Cleary and Stephen Weiss out as healthy scratches, along with Pavel Datsyuk, who remains sidelined with a separated shoulder.

Jimmy Howard will get his third consecutive start in goal for the 8 p.m. face-off, which is a half hour later than usual, because the game will be televised nationally by NBC sports.