The Boston Bruins are coming off the type of game that has been few and far between this season.
After allowing three unanswered goals to the Edmonton Oilers in Thursday’s 3-2 loss, Boston will look to bounce back when it plays host to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday to begin a weekend home-and-home series between the Original Six teams.
Despite leading 2-0 on first-period goals by Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, Bruins coach Jim Montgomery described his team as “non-competitive” offensively. As a result, a season-high win streak was snapped at 10 games.
“Turning down shots, not driving to hard areas, not winning enough battles to create O-zone time,” Montgomery said. “We sat back at times. Where we should’ve been pushing the envelope, we were sealing the envelope.”
The Bruins (49-9-5) still find themselves in a comfortable position following their first loss since Feb. 11 and only their third at home all season. They still lead the overall NHL standings by nine points over Carolina.
Boston entered Thursday with a chance to become the first team to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“You know, we don’t look and go, ‘We could go 5-15 and probably finish first,'” Montgomery said. “I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s not far from the truth, probably. We don’t analyze the mathematics of it. We worry about where we’re headed and how we have to get there.”
Pastrnak, who is on a three-game goal streak, had two points against the Oilers after he earned the assist on Marchand’s 20th goal. Marchand has reached the 20-goal plateau for 10 consecutive years, joining current captain Patrice Bergeron and the legendary Johnny Bucyk as Bruins who have accomplished the feat.
“I think it’s (Marchand’s) work ethic and the way that he just approaches every practice, every game, every workout,” Bergeron said. “Obviously, he’s just one of those guys that competes and goes to those tough areas. … I’m not surprised that he’s been able to do that again.”
Next up for the Bruins is a visit from the Red Wings, who they have not met since a 5-1 road win on Oct. 27.
The Bruins recently acquired career Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi in a March 2 trade. Bertuzzi has played in two games since joining his new team.
“He gets an opportunity to play meaningful hockey down the stretch and it’s just different,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said of Bertuzzi. “You’re asked for a little more detail in your game. You’re asked for a little bit different, maybe in some of your habits.”
Detroit is 3-6-1 in its last 10 games, snapping an 0-5-1 skid with Wednesday’s 4-3 home win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Dominik Kubalik scored the winning goal with 4:07 remaining against his former team.
Alex Chiasson recorded two assists in his home debut. He signed with the Red Wings a week ago after playing in the AHL with Grand Rapids.
The win was the Red Wings’ first since Feb. 23, but came with forward Robby Fabbri sustaining a lower-body injury in the first period. He is considered day-to-day according to Lalonde.
“It was something that really deflated the bench, when that happened,” Detroit captain Dylan Larkin said. “It was tough to see. We got to come in and kind of see him before the second period, which was good. It made us all feel better.”
Fabbri did not play until Jan. 4, returning to the lineup after recovering from a third knee surgery. With his status still in question, Austin Czarnik was recalled from the AHL.
–Field Level Media