Bruins vs. Red Wings Preview
DETROIT, MI (AP) - The Detroit Red Wings broke out of their scoring slump with an impressive performance against one of the NHL's best defensive teams.
They might have a tough time repeating that effort if Michigan native Tim Thomas is in net for the Boston Bruins in Sunday's finale of a home-and-home series at Joe Louis Arena.
According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Red Wings -140 money line favorites for Sunday's game against the Bruins. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 56% of more than 335 bets for this game have been placed on the Red Wings -140.
Before playing in Boston on Friday night, Detroit (33-16-6) totaled four goals in its previous four games. The Central Division leaders quickly ended their woes as Todd Bertuzzi and Danny Cleary scored in the first 3:10 of a 6-1 victory.
Bertuzzi added another goal in the second period - his 700th career point - after scoring once in his previous 14 games. Jiri Hudler matched a season high with three points, and leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg had three points after recording one over the previous four games.
"We played with a lot more sense of urgency," captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "You could tell from the puck drop that we wanted to score. I think it showed that we were going after pucks and getting pucks at the net."
Now the Red Wings look to keep up that kind of attack at home, where they have scored just eight goals in five games.
Thomas has surrendered two goals in four consecutive road starts. The Flint, Mich., native leads the league in goals-against average (1.91) and is tied for first with seven shutouts.
After allowing a season-high six goals in a win over Montreal on Wednesday night, he replaced Tuukka Rask in the third period Friday and gave up one on 15 shots.
Playing away from home could help the Bruins (31-17-7) return to their normally stingy defense and avoid consecutive defeats for the first time since Jan. 6-8. The Northeast Division leaders gave up six goals in back-to-back games to close a four-game homestand.
"We'll have to be a lot better on Sunday," veteran forward Mark Recchi told the team's official website. "It was a good eye-opener for us. We haven't had one of these in a while so let's hope that's it for a long time again."
The Bruins, winners in 10 of 15, are allowing an Eastern Conference-low 2.29 goals per game and have given up 14 during their current 5-1-1 run on the road.
They're 3-0-0 in the finales of home-and-home series this season.
"We get another shot at these guys," coach Claude Julien said. "It's important that we go in there and play a lot better."
Thomas was on the wrong end of a 2-0 defeat in these teams' previous matchup in Detroit on Nov. 3, 2009, and is 1-2-0 with a 2.72 GAA in four career appearances versus the Red Wings.
Detroit, meanwhile, could start Jimmy Howard again following a 25-save effort in his first game against Boston. Howard entered Friday's matchup after being pulled for former Bruin Joey MacDonald during a 4-1 loss to Nashville on Wednesday night.
The Red Wings, 6-7-2 in their last 15 home games, were booed off the ice following that defeat.
"It was a bit of an eye-opener for us," Howard said. "That's not the way we want to perform for our fans. They deserve better."
MacDonald is 0-2-0 with a 4.94 GAA in three appearances versus his former team.Zetterberg has three goals and four assists in his last four games against the Bruins.
Twitter and Facebook or Subscribe to Our News Feeds!