Game Four of the first-round series between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings is scheduled for Thursday night. The No.1 seed Bruins enter contest in Detroit with a 2-1 series lead.
Boston began the 2014 NHL playoffs as the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, and they’ve shown why, in the first three games. Detroit looks to even up the series, as their captain is set to return to the ice. Henrik Zetterberg hasn’t played since the Winter Olympics, because of back surgery. Before his injury, the veteran recorded 16 goals and 32 assists in 45 games.
“The biggest thing here is they’ve got a real good player on their team,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien, via espn.com. “Where he is and his conditioning, I don’t know. But, at the same time, every playoff game has to be about your team; it can’t be about the other team. We make adjustments to play against the other team, not the other individual, so that’s not going to change for us.”
Boston led the NHL with 117 points this season. Detroit recorded 93 points, tying them for last, among all Eastern Conference playoff teams.
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Detroit stole home-ice advantage in the final minutes of Game One, beating Boston 1-0, with Pavel Datysuk’s goal in the final minutes. Since then, though, it’s been all Bruins. The NHL regular-season leaders in points have outscored the Red Wings 7-1 in the last two games. Goalie Tuukka Rask has been dominant, stopping 80 of the 82 shots that have come his way. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron leads all players with three points.
The game is set to begin at 8 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network. Viewers can also watch the contest online with a free live stream on NBC Sports Live Extra.
Even with the contest being played in Detroit, the visiting Bruins are expected to win. The consensus odds from Las Vegas casinos have Boston listed as -135 favorites. At home, where the Red Wings went 18-13-10 in the regular season, they moneyline has them as +115 underdogs. In 2013-2014, the Bruins were one of the best road teams in the NHL, recording 23 victories.
Even in their Game One victory, the Red Wings have been shut down own offense. There’s little reason to believe that will change on Thursday night. Zetterberg is expected to return to the Detroit lineup, but he might not be that effective in his first game back. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard will need to have a big game, but that’s a lot to ask against the No.3 offense in hockey.
Boston 3, Detroit 1