Get your game notes: Red Wings at Bruins

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

• Head-to-Head: This is the 3rd of 5 meetings this season between these Original Six teams, and current Atlantic Division rivals. They have split the season series thus far…

• Oct. 9 at DET: DET def. BOS 2-1.

• Oct. 15 at DET: BOS def. DET 3-2 (SO).

• DET F Gustav Nyquist had one goal in each game of the series (both PPGs). G Jimmy Howard was in the Red Wings’ net for both games.

• BOS F David Krejci and F Reilly Smith each had a goal in regulation and the shootout in the Oct. 15 meeting. G Tuukka Rask also started both games in net for BOS.

• 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: BOS beat DET 4 games to 1 in their First Round playoff series last season…

• Detroit shut out Boston in Game 1, but the Bruins won 4 straight to advance to the Second Round.

• Atlantic Division matchup: Detroit sits 2nd in the division, while Boston is currently 6th…

• With 47 points, Detroit trails only division-leading Tampa Bay (48 points), but the Wings have a game in hand. Detroit stands 4th in the Eastern Conference.

• The B’s (39 points) are currently outside the playoff picture, trailing 5th-place Florida (40 points) by a point in the division standings and Washington (42 points) by 3 points for the 2nd Wild Card spot in the East.

• Detroit back on track: The Wings have now won back-to-back games following a 6-game losing streak
(0-2-4) earlier in the month…

• Detroit entered the holiday break with a 6-3 W vs. BUF, followed by a 3-2 (OT) W vs. OTT on Saturday coming out of the break.

• Their 9 goals in the past 2 games equal the number they scored in the previous 7 games (1-2-4).

• That 6-game losing streak was a season high, but 5 of the 6 were one-goal games and all 4 OT/SO losses came in the shootout.

• DET has the most SO losses (7) in the NHL this season. The Wings are 1-7 in the shootout, and
4-9 in games that go past regulation overall.

• December slump for the Bruins: The B’s have lost twice as many games as they have won this month, going 4-6-2…

• With a loss of any kind tonight, Boston would have its first sub-.500 month since Feb. 2012, when the B’s went 5-7-1 (the Bruins finish their December schedule on New Year’s Eve vs. TOR).

• BOS is coming off a 6-2 loss at CBJ on Saturday, a game in which both starter Niklas Svedberg and Tuukka Rask each gave up 3 goals on 15 shots.

• The B’s had won 2 straight games leading up to the break – home wins over BUF (4-3 OT) and NSH (5-3).

• Boston has allowed more goals (95) than it has scored (91) this season. Last season, Boston led the NHL in margin for outscoring opponents, and it has not allowed more goals than it has scored in a season since 2007-08.

• Special Teams glance: Detroit ranks 3rd in PP% (24.3%) and 2nd in PK% (88.4%), while BOS is in the lower 3rd of the league in both (see team stats section below for all rankings)…

• DET has PP goals in 3 straight games (6-for-13 overall), and is 40-for-43 on the PK in December.

• BOS has just 3 PPG in their last 18 games (3-for-37 overall), but 2 of those have come in the last 3 games.

DETROIT TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• F Gustav Nyquist scored a highlight-reel OT winner against OTT on Saturday – his team-leading 15th goal.

• Nyquist leads the team in PPG (8 – T-3rd in NHL).

• Nyquist has 38 goals in his last 70 regular-season games.

• Against BOS: Nyquist has goals in each game vs. BOS this season, and 4G-1A in 4 career GP vs. the B’s.

• Captain F Henrik Zetterberg has played in all 36 games, and leads the Wings in points (32) and assists (24).

• Zetterberg had 1G, 1A vs. OTT on Saturday, extending his point streak to 4 games overall (3G-3A).

• F Pavel Datsyuk began the season on injured reserve with a separated shoulder (suffered in preseason), and overall he has played in just 25 of the team’s 36 games.

• Despite this, Datsyuk has 13G-13A this season to rank 2nd on the team in points (26).

• Datsyuk enters tonight on a 3-game point streak (1G-2A).

• G Jimmy Howard returned on Saturday after injuring his groin vs. NYI on Dec. 19 (missed 2 starts). He stopped 31 of 33 shots in the OT win.

• Howard has just 1 regulation loss in his last 11 starts (6-1-3, 2.08 GAA, .922 SV%) dating back to Nov. 24.

• Overall this season, Howard is 14-5-7 with a 2.05 GAA and .922 SV%.

• Career vs. BOS: Howard is 5-1-1 with a 1.95 GAA and .937 SV%.

BOSTON TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• With a goal against CBJ, F Patrice Bergeron extended his point streak to 3 games (1G-4A).

• Bergeron leads the Bruins in points (27) in 36 GP.

• According to coach Claude Julien, Bergeron and F Milan Lucic will not play tonight due to injuries.

• G Tuukka Rask had won back-to-back games entering the holiday break, but G Niklas Svedberg started against Columbus on Saturday night in the B’s 6-2 loss.

• Svedberg allowed 3 goals on 15 shots and was pulled in the 2nd period.

• In relief, Rask – the NHL’s reigning Vezina Trophy winner – also allowed 3 goals on 15 shots.

• This season, Rask is 14-10-3 with a 2.59 GAA and .910 SV%

• F David Krejci has played in the last 5 games since missing nearly a month with a groin injury.

• Krejci led the Bruins in scoring in October (9 points), but he has just 1 point in the 5 games since his return.

• F Carl Soderberg is 2nd on the team in points (23), but he has just 1 goal in his past 20 games.

• F Brad Marchand leads the B’s in goals (10).

• Marchand did not record a point vs. CBJ, but he scored twice in the game prior to that (5-3 W vs. NSH).

• Marchand has 9 points (4G-5A) in his last 10 games.

Oilers claim Fraser off waivers from Bruins

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The Edmonton Oilers made an interesting move on Monday, claiming Boston forward Matt Fraser off waivers.

In a related move, the Oilers then waived forward Steve Pinizzotto.

Fraser, 24, is an Alberta native that has 27 games of NHL experience with the Stars and Bruins. He’s perhaps best known 1) being part of the Tyler Seguin trade, and 2) scoring the OT winner in his playoff debut last spring, helping the B’s beat the Habs in Game 4 of their second-round series.

Fraser has struggled to find his form this season, though, scoring just three goals in 24 games while averaging 10:31 TOI per night.

It’ll be interesting to see if Fraser can find his niche in Edmonton. A quality scorer in junior at at the AHL level — he had 37 goals in 73 games for AHL Texas in 2011-12 — Fraser will likely get a good look in Edmonton and is something of a familiar face for new head coach Todd Nelson, who coached against Fraser during his days with AHL Oklahoma City.

NHL on NBCSN: Nyquist looks to remain hot against the Bruins

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Boston Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings at 7:00 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

The Detroit Red Wings visit the Boston Bruins for the third of five meetings this season tonight at the TD Garden.

Each team has won a game at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena with Wings taking a 2-1 decision Oct. 9 and the Bruins using a shootout for a 3-2 win Oct. 15.

After halting a six-game winless skid (0-4-2) Detroit will look for its’ third straight win tonight while the Bruins will look to get back into the win column Monday following a 6-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Just as it appeared the Bruins were getting healthy, both Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic missed Sunday’s practice. Coach Claude Julien is expected to have an update on both players at Monday’s morning skate.

Detroit is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games against the Bruins and have won three of four in Boston.

Gustav Nyquist enters tonight’s game with a goal and three assists in his last two games.

The 25-year-old has scored in each of his four career games against the Bruins leading the Wings to a 3-0-1 record.

Boston is struggling defensively during its’ current 4-6-2 stretch. The Bruins are allowing an average of 3.1 goals compared to 2.4 over the first 24 games.

Just like the team in front of him, Tuukka Rask has struggled this season. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is 3-4-2 in his last 10 games with a 3.10 goals-against average. Rask allowed three goals on 15 shots after replacing Niklas Svedberg in Saturday’s loss.

The two clubs meet twice after tonight with the next meeting scheduled for March 8 in Boston.

Bergeron, Lucic are day-to-day for struggling Bruins

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Scoring has been a struggle for the Boston Bruins, and it may only get tougher on Monday if Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic are unable to play against the Detroit Red Wings.

While head coach Claude Julien isn’t being particularly forthcoming about what, exactly, is ailing either forward, he did describe each of them as day-to-day, as CSNNE.com reports.

Here’s what the Bruins’ forward lines looked like in practice without Bergeron and Lucic:

Marchand-Griffith-Smith

Fraser-Krejci-Cunningham

Kelly-Soderberg-Eriksson

Paille-Campbell-Caron

Matt Fraser was waived later on Sunday, so that could throw things further out of whack. Either way, the pickings would be pretty slim if Bergeron and Lucic cannot go; Boston would have to hope that Loui Eriksson really is rebounding, among other things.

While there are certain factors that seemingly point to a talent deficit, Julien thinks the Bruins’ tough times are a matter of desire and widespread underachievement.

“We just need to be better, collectively and individually,” Julien said. “There’s too much under-performing from our group right now. There’s everybody to blame from the goaltending, out to the defense and to the forwards. There is lots of blame to go around, so it’s important for us as a group to be better, and for us as individuals to be better.”

Having two rather important individuals out of the lineup certainly wouldn’t help matters.

Lucic: Players have to step up for struggling Bruins

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The Boston Bruins had been on a modest but nice little streak of three wins in four games heading into the holiday break, but that was forgotten Saturday when they were clobbered by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The floodgates opened in the second period and the Blue Jackets skated to a 6-2 victory. Not even the highly anticipated fight between Milan Lucic and Dalton Prout could gain any momentum for Boston.

A quick glance at the Eastern Conference standings shows the Bruins are three points back of the Washington Capitals for the final Wild Card spot as they approach the midway mark of the season.

“The coaches do what they do and they put the game plan together. That game plan works,” Lucic told the Boston Globe.

“It’s worked for the past seven years. It’s up to us as players to come together and, as individuals, step up all of our games and get it moving in the right direction. Because we’re starting to run out of time as far as playing catch-up hockey.”

There was controversy in the second period.

Less than three minutes after Boston cut the Columbus lead to two goals, the Blue Jackets scored to restore their three-goal cushion, however the goal occurred shortly after the puck hit the spectator netting. Play was never stopped and the Blue Jackets eventually scored what was their fifth goal of the evening.

From the NHL’s Situation Room blog:

At 17:43 of the second period in the Boston Bruins/Columbus Blue Jackets game, the puck appeared to hit the spectator netting in the Columbus zone and play continued until the Blue Jackets scored a goal at 19:09. According to Rule 85.1, play shall be stopped when the puck hits the spectator netting unless it goes unnoticed by the on-ice officials, in which case “play shall continue as normal and resulting play with the puck shall be deemed a legitimate play.” Since play continued and the puck was not directed into the net as an immediate result of hitting the spectator netting, this is not a reviewable play and the on-ice decision stands – good goal Columbus.