The Detroit Red Wings are enjoying life in the Eastern Conference through two games as they get ready to face its reigning champion from a season ago.
The Red Wings and Boston Bruins never met during that shortened campaign, but that will change beginning Saturday night at the TD Garden in the first of four meetings in 2013-14.
Detroit (2-0-0) won its opener 2-1 at home over Buffalo on Wednesday before rallying from a two-goal deficit for Friday's 3-2 overtime victory at Carolina.
Things figure to get more difficult for the Red Wings with two of their next four games at Boston. Detroit has won the last four matchups between these Original Six clubs, and its addition to the East has definitely drawn the Bruins' attention.
"I think they're an elite team, they always have been," coach Claude Julien told the Bruins' official website. "I think you need to look at, for example, their third line with a guy like (Daniel) Cleary and (Todd) Bertuzzi on the third line, you know you've got some pretty good depth."
"And they're an experienced team, they're a smart team, they play a good, smart game, and that will certainly bring an element of an even bigger challenge for all of the teams in our conference right now."
Detroit showed its experience Friday by not panicking after going down two goals down after two periods. Justin Abdelkader scored in the first minute of the third, Henrik Zetterberg added another with 16.4 seconds left in the period to set up Stephen Weiss' winning tally.
"Got one early, got one late and were able to get one in overtime," Weiss said.
The Red Wings had gone four straight periods without scoring before Abdelkader gave Detroit momentum in a pivotal third period in which it held a 16-11 edge in shots.
"We knew we wanted to try to get that first one to get things going," Abdelkader said. "I think after we got that, we started getting some more chances, we really came on and obviously, that was a huge goal at the end."
Detroit will try to open with three wins for the second time in three seasons while Boston (1-0-0) seeks to begin with consecutive victories for the second straight campaign.