The Boston Bruins are having all sorts of issues lately, but of utmost concern is how poorly they've played at home.
Boston looks to avoid dropping six of its first seven home games for only the second time in franchise history when it hosts the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
The Bruins (7-7-1) went on a 6-0-1 tear after a winless three-game homestand to begin the season, but they've lost four of five since that run after falling 3-2 to visiting Colorado on Thursday.
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They led 2-0 on goals from Zdeno Chara and Ryan Spooner but couldn't hold on, dropping to 1-5-1 at TD Garden. Boston hasn't lost six of its first seven at home since losing 11 of 12 to begin its first NHL season in 1924-25.
"I think if we go out there and realize we're on home ice and we have the ability to dictate (the play), it will be a lot better for us," defenseman Torey Krug told the team's official website. "It's no excuse for what's been going on so far at home and we have to turn it around, and that's on us as players. We've got to go out and execute."
Krug, coach Claude Julien, goaltender Tuukka Rask and center Patrice Bergeron all said the recent issues can be attributed to the Bruins not being mentally strong enough and letting little mistakes weigh on them.
They've put up fewer than three goals in each of their last four, and leading scorer David Krejci has none over seven straight games after netting seven in his first eight.
"It's not acceptable what's going on right now and we have to take the responsibility that goes with it," Julien said. "We have to be a lot better and 10 minutes of good hockey is not good enough to win in this league."
Boston has won four straight home meetings with Detroit and eight of the last nine overall, including the postseason. The Red Wings (8-7-1) had won four of their previous five before falling to San Jose 3-2 on Friday despite outshooting the Sharks 28-14.
Pavel Datsyuk made his season debut after recovering from offseason ankle surgery and recorded a team-high four shots on goal. Teeum Pulkkinen scored and Tomas Tatar had a goal and an assist.
"I thought that in the third period, we started to try to get too cute with the puck instead of working for chances," coach Jeff Blashill said. "We've got great players, but we're not the biggest team in the world, so we have to be ultra-competitive in the offensive zone. I didn't see that (until) after we got down 3-1."
Jimmy Howard allowed two goals on seven first-period shots and fell to 3-4-1 with a 2.21 goals-against average. Petr Mrazek, who had a 38-save shutout of Washington on Tuesday in his previous start and has a 2.07 GAA in nine appearances, could get the nod to complete the back-to-back set.
Rask is 7-2-0 with a 1.52 GAA while not allowing more than two goals in his last nine starts against the Red Wings, including playoffs. He's gotten off to a rough start, though, allowing at least five goals in four of his 11 starts while posting a 3.21 GAA.
He has a .866 save percentage while starting all seven of Boston's home games.