BOSTON – Bruins captain Zdeno Chara believes his team made a major statement against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
“We can beat anybody in this league and we can play against anybody, obviously,” Chara said after Boston beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Saturday night for its ninth straight home win.
“We’ve got to keep going and we’ve got to push forward,” Chara said. “We can’t be satisfied with the results we have.”
Blake Wheeler and David Krejci both had a goal and an assist to give the Bruins their longest home winning streak in 25 years. Boston moved back into a tie with the New York Rangers for first place in the Eastern Conference.
The win also capped an 11-1-1 November for the Bruins, who had their most productive month in 30 years. Eight of the wins came at home, with the Bruins outscoring opponents 41-14 in those games.
“We’ve got everybody on the same page and everybody kind of pushing each other,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
Manny Fernandez, playing back-to-back games for the first time this season because starter Tim Thomas didn’t feel well, stopped 29 shots to win his sixth straight start. The Bruins have scored 32 goals in those victories.
“They realize it’s me they want to make sure sometimes it’s going to be a little different than Timmy and they have to get accustomed to that,” Fernandez said. “They’ve been getting more goals when I’m in for whatever reasons and playing well defensively at the same time.”
Fernandez played well enough Saturday night for the crowd, which booed him earlier this season, to chant, “Manny, Manny.” It marked the first time that chant was heard in Boston since the Red Sox traded outfielder Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers.
The Bruins scored four goals on a season-low 19 shots, chasing Detroit goalie Ty Conklin after three goals on nine shots.
“They’re a good team and they’re well-coached and they’re organized and their goalie was on,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Their goalie made some huge saves.”
The only goal that got by Fernandez was actually a pass by Jiri Hudler that went in off the skate of Boston’s Marc Savard for a power-play goal with 3:35 left in the second period.
The Red Wings, second in the Western Conference, lost for the third time in four games and fell to an NHL-best 10-2-2 on the road. Detroit is 7-2-2 in its last 11 games.
Phil Kessel and Chuck Kobasew also scored for Boston. Michael Ryder, who played on a line with Krejci and Wheeler for the second straight game, had two assists after scoring two goals on Friday in Boston’s 7-2 victory over the New York Islanders.
Detroit recorded the first eight shots of the game before Wheeler and Krejci struck 4:11 apart.
Wheeler and Ryder broke in on a 2-on-1 and, with only Niklas Kronwall back, Ryder hit Wheeler on his off wing. The rookie scored for the second straight game, making it 1-0 at 12:00.
The Bruins doubled the lead when Kessel beat Conklin with a long wrist shot and scored for the sixth time in seven games. It was his team-leading 13th goal and stretched his point streak to nine games.
Chris Osgood relieved Conklin after Patrice Bergeron stole the puck from Kronwall and fed Kobasew for his fifth goal that extending his point streak to six. Krejci, who has nine points during a six-game run, scored in the third period.
Notes: Bruins D Aaron Ward left the game in the first period with an apparent left leg injury and didn’t return. He will be evaluated Sunday. … Boston’s Marco Sturm missed his sixth straight game due to an upper body injury. Bergeron is playing with an undisclosed injury that has been limiting his faceoff work. Detroit RW Tomas Holstrom missed his sixth consecutive because of a back injury. … The Red Wings won the only game between the teams last season, 3-1 in Boston, but the Bruins have earned points in eight of nine against Detroit. The Bruins wore their new third jerseys for the second straight day. … Boston won eight straight at home from Nov. 2-29, 2002. The Bruins won 11 in a row at home from Dec. 5, 1982-Jan. 29, 1983. … The Bruins had 23 points in November, their highest point total for a month since they had 24 in December 1978.