Detroit — There were about 20 family and friends the Smith brothers — Red Wings defenseman Brendan and Bruins forward Reilly — Monday in Boston.
The matchup, however, didn’t come about after Brendan was a healthy scratch for a second consecutive game.
“That was a little frustrating, but that’s hockey,” said Brendan Smith, who didn’t play Tuesday against the Blue Jackets. “I’ve just got to stay positive and when I get my chance to get back in the lineup, stay there.”
What doesn’t help Smith’s chances is the continued success of the Red Wings, who are 3-0 with Brian Lashoff in for Smith.
“Once a team keeps on winning, they usually stay with the same lineup,” Smith said. “It’s the old thing ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’”
With a minus-4 rating through four games, Smith hasn’t gotten off to the type of start he or the Red Wings wanted.
“There are things I need to work on,” Smith said. “There are things you always need to work on.”
Jonas Gustavsson earned another start in goal Tuesday with Jimmy Howard (bruised hand) unable to play, making 36 saves in the Red Wings’ 2-1 victory.
Howard is still day-to-day, but the Red Wings recalled goaltender Petr Mrazek from Grand Rapids.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock would like to see Gustavsson get at least 20 starts.
Forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Tatar remained healthy scratches.
... General manager Ken Holland said forward Darren Helm (back) will be assigned to Grand Rapids and is expected to play two games this weekend with the Griffins. If all goes well, Helm could return to the Red Wings on Oct. 26 against the Rangers.
… Babcock said Monday’s victory over an experienced and deep Boston team was an important early-season win.
“We think we have a good team,” Babcock said. “Their team at this time is probably more NHL ready for a long run just because they have been together longer. (It’s) an experienced group.
“We are a young group that has to continue to get better and better together and we will do that. I like what happened for our team confidence wise.”
… Forward Luke Glendening (Michigan) has made a favorable impression on the fourth line.
“He’s smart, competitive and plays heavy,” Babcock said. “In high school he was a running back, playing football. He’s used to being hit.”