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Boston got past the Eastern Conference leader on Thursday, and now it's ready for the best team in the league.
The Bruins will be trying to match their longest winning streak of the season on Saturday when they host the Detroit Red Wings.
Boston (27-19-5) beat Ottawa 4-1 on Thursday for their fourth three-game winning streak of the season. The Bruins won four in a row Oct. 12-20.
If they hope to match that run, however, they will have to get past a Detroit (39-10-4) team that leads the Western Conference with 82 points - 17 more than second-place Dallas and 14 more than the Senators.
"They're obviously a great team, leading the whole NHL in points, and they're a dominating team," said Boston goalie Tim Thomas, who made 30 saves against the Senators. "I watch them on TV and it seems like they always have the puck so it's going to be a real challenge."
Marc Savard had a goal and assisted on Phil Kessel's score on Thursday, extending his point and assist streaks to nine games. He has three goals and 12 assists over that span.
"It wasn't something I'm looking at," Savard said. "Obviously, you want to get one early. Faceoffs have been going pretty good for me lately and (Kessel) got a good shot off and we just built off it."
Savard has 10 goals in 19 career games against Detroit - his most goals against any Western Conference team - and also has six assists in his last three games in the series.
Boston has won three straight against Detroit since a 2-1 overtime loss at Joe Louis Arena on Nov. 7, 2002. The Bruins are also 5-0-2 in their last seven games in the series, and haven't lost to the Red Wings in regulation since a 5-4 home defeat on Dec. 11, 1999.
"We're ready," Savard said. "It's going to be a tough task."
The Bruins are 9-3-1 since Dec. 31, when they ended a season-long six-game losing streak. The Red Wings, however, have also been hot, winning six straight since a season high-tying three-game losing streak.
Detroit beat Colorado 2-0 on Friday, as Dominik Hasek made 15 saves for his 80th career shutout and fourth this season.
Hasek is 20-14-0 with two ties and a 2.22 goals-against average in 37 career starts against the Bruins, although he has lost his last three games against them.
Henrik Zetterberg broke a scoreless tie against the Avalanche with 2:20 left on his team-leading 30th goal of the season.
"That's exactly what the first round of the playoffs are going to be," coach Mike Babcock told the Red Wings' official team Web site. "You've got a top-seed against a team that believes if they check, check, check, that they have an opportunity, and that's what they did tonight. They're battling for their playoff life, and those are great opponents for us."
The Bruins could provide a similar test, as they are in seventh place in the East, just one point ahead of the eighth-place New York Rangers.
|Feb 02 '08||DET 3 at BOS 1||P. Datsyuk|
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