Bruins hope to extend win streak against Red Wings
BOSTON — The Detroit Red Wings have scored nine goals in four games in their worst start since 1980.
The Bruins‘ line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak have scored 10 goals on their own during their team’s three-game winning streak.
The rebuilding Red Wings, whose 0-2-2 start is the franchise’s worst since going 0-5 in 1980, visit the Bruins Saturday looking for that elusive first win.
It’s not as easy task.
The Bruins, embarrassed 7-0 in their season opener at Washington, have outscored their opponents 14-4 in their last three, capped by Thursday night’s 4-1 home victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
“Special teams were good, obviously makes a difference. We got a couple on our power play. Discipline was good. Team defense was good. We used our whole bench, our backup goalie, so everyone was contributing,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said after the win over Edmonton in the second game of a three-game homestand.
That “backup goalie” was Jaroslav Halak, who has allowed one goal — a breakaway by Connor McDavid that gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead — in his two starts as a Bruin.
Halak will not be in goal Saturday, with Tuukka Rask back as the starter in a game originally scheduled to be played at night but moved to 3 p.m. because of the Red Sox’s home playoff game at 8 p.m.
Rask, the goaltender Bruins fans love to hate, has struggled out of the gate. He was shelled in 27 minutes at Washington, then gave up three goals and had two shots hit pipes, in his win over the Ottawa Senators earlier this week.
Bergeron has five goals and three assists, Marchand a goal and seven assists and Pastrnak has four goals and two assists in the last three games.
“That top line has done a great job,” said Detroit coach Jeff Blashill. “I thought in our building last year, we did a real good job, kept them off the board until about 30 seconds left and then they scored to tie it and they were part of the game winner in overtime. We got to do a good job obviously checking that group, but as a group, as a whole, we just got to make sure we play great hockey.”
Rask is 12-5-2 with a 2.58 goals-against average, .903 save percentage and one shutout lifetime against the Red Wings, who have lost 10 straight games, counting playoffs, at TD Garden.
“Well, we didn’t get the win. That was the most important thing,” said Kronwall, who played his first game of the season. “I thought in bits and pieces of the game we did a lot of good things. But when we’re not doing it right, we’re not as good. Second period I thought we let ourselves down. Way too many turnovers. And it started with my mistake on their second goal.
“We didn’t respond very well after that. And in the third we got playing again, playing with more desperation and that’s the way we have to play. I thought in the first period we did a lot of good things. But we’ve got to find a way to create a little more offense. And we gave up way too many easy chances.”
Goaltender Jimmy Howard was the loser Thursday, falling to 0-1-2 with a 2.90 goals-against average and .910 save percentage this season. He is 5-6-3 with a 2.56 goals-against average and .921 save percentage lifetime against the Bruins.
Fellow veteran Jonathan Bernier, who has lost his only start of the season, is 5-5-0 with a 3.33 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in his career against the Bruins.
The Wings complete a two-game road trip at Montreal Monday night, while the Bruins open a four-game trip in Calgary Wednesday.