Boston Bruins v New York Islanders

Bruins’ Iginla staying positive despite scoring struggles

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His goal production is down compared to years past.

But Boston Bruins forward Jarome Iginla isn’t dwelling on that, at least not publicly, despite just five goals in 26 games this season, which comes after he signed a one-year deal worth $6 million in total this summer.

The 36-year-old right winger has twice scored 50 goals or more in a season, and isn’t far removed from 32 and 43-goal seasons with the Calgary Flames.

“There have been different years where the goals come at different times. It can really switch fast. What I’ve learned over the years is just to make sure you’re shooting the puck. I believe they will come in time, but at least we’re winning hockey games right now,” Iginla told CSNNE.com.

“You just need to keep working hard, and keep getting better. You’re in good scoring situations, so you want to produce. But it’s important to also stay positive.”

NHL matinee on NBC: Rangers seek revenge against roughed-up Bruins

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) makes a save with New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) threatening in the third period of their NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (47) defends on the play as the Bruins defeated the Rangers 2-1. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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Looking to rest off yesterday’s feast? NBC has a 1 p.m. ET game set up between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. In addition to NBC, you can also watch it online.

For the first time since they were eliminated by the Bruins in the 2013 playoffs, the New York Rangers will return to TD Garden. They’re out for revenge, but Boston will be looking to heal from even fresher wounds.

Boston traveled to Detroit on Wednesday were handed an embarrassing 6-1 setback.

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“Everything we did (Wednesday night) was just disastrous,” Bruins coach Claude Julien remarked, according to the Boston Herald.

“Every once in a while during the season you get a game like that and you just hope it wakes your team up a little bit. Hopefully a little jolt like that will help you get better here.”

With that in mind, this game has extra meaning for the Bruins. This will determine if that crushing defeat was just a blip on the radar or a far more ominous sign.

Meanwhile the Rangers are hoping that their lowest point is already well behind them. They endured a brutal nine-game road trip to start the season and have just barely finished climbing out of the 3-6-0 hole they were in by the time that stint ended.

They’re wrapping up another lengthy journey, but this time it’s gone far better with three wins in four matches going into this contest. Henrik Lundqvist and rookie Cam Talbot have played a huge part in that turnaround, ensuring that the Rangers have consistently enjoyed solid goaltending.

Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask is tentatively penciled in to counter Lundqvist. Like his teammates, Rask didn’t come out of Wednesday’s contest looking particularly good, but he has been terrific overall this season. A match against the Rangers might be the perfect antidote for a bad game too, given that he turned aside 43 of 44 shots against New York when he faced them on Nov. 19.

Playing against the Rangers has been a pretty good gig for opposing goaltenders so far this season. New York is averaging just 2.12 goals per game, so if the Bruins’ forwards click today, then the Rangers will have difficulty keeping pace.

The Rangers’ offense ran dry against the Bruins during the playoffs and again in their match a week and a half ago. We’ll see if they can break that cycle today.

Discuss: Red Wings dominate Bruins on NBCSN

Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings
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In an Original Six match-up, the Detroit Red Wings hung six goals on the Boston Bruins.

The Red Wings took the lead in the first period and the floodgates opened in the second and third periods, as they defeated the visiting Bruins 6-1 to conclude Wednesday’s Rivalry Night on NBCSN.

Let’s discuss:

    • Things haven’t necessarily gone the Red Wings’ way of late. And you can look at this any number of ways, depending on your perspective. The Red Wings have won only three times in their last 11 games; won three times in their last four games; and twice in a row. Moving on up.
    • No Pavel Datsyuk (head) and Todd Bertuzzi (shoulder) for Detroit. No problem. Tonight.
    • Not the Bruins best night. They had 17 shots on goal.
    • Jarome Iginla scored his fifth of the season for the Bruins, cutting the Red Wings to five with 2:25 remaining in regulation. Is he in your hockey pool?
    • Should be mentioned that Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson has won his last three starts. In his last two starts, he’s allowed a combined two goals on 39 shots.
    • Despite their struggles in November, the Red Wings are only three points back of the Bruins for top spot in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins do have a game in hand.

Get your game notes: Bruins at Red Wings

Joe Louis Arena
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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Detroit Red Wings hosting the Boston Bruins starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— With one-third of its home schedule in the books, the Red Wings stand 4-4-6 at Joe Louis Arena. The last time a Wings team finished .500 or worse on home ice was in 1985-86, when they were 10-26-4 at home. They finished last in the Norris Division that season.

— Tonight, the Bruins and Red Wings will play their first game in Detroit as divisional foes since Mar. 2, 1974, when they played to a 4-4 tie. That season, Phil Esposito won the Hart Trophy, Bobby Orr won his seventh Norris Trophy and the Bruins advanced to the Stanley Cup Final (lost to Philadelphia).

— On Nov. 21, the Red Wings snapped an eight-game home winless streak (0-2-6) that included three overtime losses and three shootout losses. The Wings have lost 11 straight OT/SO games at Joe Louis Arena (last win: April 1, 2012), the club’s longest winless streak since going 12 straight from Mar. 30, 1997-Dec. 28, 1998. The last NHL team to go winless in as many consecutive home OT/SO games was the N.Y. Rangers (14 games, Dec. 23, 2002-Oct. 19, 2005). (Elias Sports Bureau)

— The Red Wings have had the better of the Bruins during the past four+ seasons. Since the beginning of the 2009-10 season, Detroit has won five of the teams’ six meetings. The lone Boston win came on Oct. 5 of this season, a 4-1 win at TD Garden.

— Since November 18, 2010, Tuukka Rask is 6-0-0 when facing 40+ shots in a game. In those games, the Bruins netminder has allowed only a combined five goals on 248 shots.

— Jonas Gustavsson is expected to start in goal for the Red Wings tonight. This would be his second straight start and fourth in Detroit’s last six games; he is 5-0-1 with a 2.35 GAA and .926 save% this season. No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard is mired in a career-long seven-game winless streak (0-3-4) and has lost 13 games this season (5-7-6), three of them in a shootout.

— Daniel Alfredsson is slated to suit up in his 1,199th NHL game tonight. His games-played total ranks third all-time among Swedish-born players, behind long-time Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom (1,564) and Mats Sundin (1,346). Lidstrom will have his #5 jersey retired in Detroit on Mar. 6, 2014.

— Michigan native and rookie Torey Krug is tied for the NHL lead in goals by a defenseman, with seven. (Erik Karlsson, Shea Weber, Michael Stone). The last time that a Bruins defenseman led the NHL in goals at his position was 1995-96, when Raymond Bourque scored 20 (tied with Gary Suter).

— Through 24 games, the Bruins have 12 power-play goals (T-6th fewest in the NHL) on an NHL-low 62 opportunities in an NHL-low 100:27 power-play time. The Red Wings have had the man-advantage for 25:25 more than the Bruins (125:52), but even that figure is the 4th-lowest in the league.

— On Sunday, Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg became the ninth player in franchise history to score 700 career points for the historic hockey franchise. He reached the milestone in 739 NHL games, the fifth-fewest among the nine players. (Steve Yzerman – 519 games, Sergei Fedorov – 638, Gordie Howe – 673, Pavel Datsyuk – 706) (Elias Sports Bureau)

Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Red Wings challenge division-leading Bruins

Detroit Red Wings left wing Justin Abdelkader (8) is checked by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) and goalie Tuukka Rask (40) in front of the crease in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. The Red Wings won 3-2. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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Throughout the season, NBCSN will feature the NHL’s fiercest rivalries on Wednesday nights. Tonight the Boston Bruins will head to Joe Louis Arena to take on the Detroit Red Wings at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

The Red Wings are back home after a brief detour to Buffalo, but maybe it would have been better if they had stayed on the road.

They have struggled lately and a lot of that has taken place at The Joe. As a result, Detroit now has a 4-4-6 home record despite being 11-7-7 overall.

To make matters worse, Detroit will be without Pavel Datsyuk (head) and Todd Bertuzzi (shoulder) tonight. They also won’t lead with goaltender Jimmy Howard, although that’s for an entirely different reason.

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Howard hasn’t won a game since Nov. 1 and has allowed at least three goals in six of his last eight contests.

“Let’s be clear, we’ll go as far as Howie takes us,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told the Detroit News. “He’s an elite goalie who it hasn’t gone as good as he’d like to lately. We’ll give him a breather to work with Jimmy (Bedard, Red Wings goaltender coach).”

Backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson has been great lately and he’ll have to keep that up because the Boston Bruins aren’t likely to make many mistakes. The Red Wings rank in the bottom third of the league when it comes to goals per game while the Bruins lead the league with a team 1.83 GAA.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has been stunning and he’ll be backed up by one of the league’s deeper offenses. That’s nothing new for the Bruins, although the cast is different this season, including newcomers Reilly Smith, Loui Eriksson, and Jarome Iginla. All of them have stepped up at various times, along with returning stars Milan Lucic and David Krejci, but this team still has another level if they can all come together.

“Chemistry on the ice develops with time and through adversity, through tough times, through good times,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said, according to CSN New England. He added, “So I think it’s an ongoing thing, and those guys will let that evolve throughout the whole year. You just hope it’s at its best always at the right time of the year.”

As it is, they are certainly a serious contender. With a 16-6-2 record, the Bruins lead the Atlantic Division, but the Red Wings are only five points behind despite their recent slump. Detroit has plenty to overcome, but they can keep the pressure on Boston with a win tonight.