Red Wings, Bruins game could be 1st round playoff preview

Bruins seek President's Trophy as Red Wings seek playoff spot

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson gets tangled up with Boston Bruins center Chris Kelly during a game Oct. 14, 2013 in Boston. Teammate Pavel Datsyuk follows behind. The Red Wings won 3-2. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

DETROIT – The rampaging Boston Bruins haven't lost in regulation or on the road in a month and will put both streaks on the line when they visit the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.

The Bruins are closing in on wrapping up the top seed in the Eastern Conference and hold a one-point lead over St. Louis in the race for the Presidents' Trophy. Boston is 15-0-1 since losing to Washington on March 1 and notched its franchise-record ninth straight road victory with a shootout win at Philadelphia on Sunday.

Detroit, which is a potential first-round playoff opponent of the Bruins, could receive a major boost in its bid to reach the postseason for a record 23rd consecutive time with Pavel Datsyuk expected to return to the lineup Wednesday or Friday. The Red Wings own a one-point lead over Columbus for the top wild card in the East despite a string of injuries that has gutted their roster. Detroit has won six of the past seven meetings against the Bruins, including a 6-1 thrashing at home on Nov. 27.

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ABOUT THE BRUINS (52-17-6): Patrice Bergeron extended his goal-scoring streak to seven games in Sunday's win - one shy of the club record set by Cam Neely in December 1990. Named the NHL's Second Star of the Week after scoring in all four games, Bergeron also owns an eight-game point streak and is within four goals of his career-best total of 31 set with Boston in 2005-06.

Forward Jarome Iginla, named the league's First Star of the Month after scoring 13 goals to push his career mark to 560, is one shy of surpassing Guy Lafleur and moving into a tie with Mike Modano for 23rd place on the all-time list.

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (35-26-14): Detroit has posted back-to-back wins following a three-game losing streak and is looking forward to the return of Datsyuk, who has been sidelined since Feb. 27 with a left knee injury.

"He's one of the best two-way players in the game," goaltender Jimmy Howard said of Datsyuk, who is listed as a game-time decision. "We could definitely use him." Datsyuk, who said he was encouraged after going through a full practice on Tuesday, has appeared in only five games since Jan. 1 - accumulating one assist - but has registered 15 goals and 18 assists in 39 games this season.

The Wings also will be without veteran forward Daniel Alfredsson, who is suffering from an undisclosed injury.


1. Iginla won his monthly honor by edging out Detroit's Gustav Nyquist, who tallied 12 times in March and is riding a nine-game point streak.

2. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock needs two wins to tie Jack Adams (413) for the most in franchise history.

3. The Bruins are seeking their first win in Detroit since March 11, 2007.