DETROIT — Let’s be honest: It’s hard to get excited about a game against the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 15.

Nonetheless, the Boston Bruins earned a critical two points with a 3-2 shootout victory to snap a three-game losing skid Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. It was Boston’s best game of this young season and it needed to happen.

“I thought we played a real good game tonight,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “It was a tough win, but a win I thought we deserved. It was nice to see us come up with the win, probably the best game so far this year and we did a lot of good things.”

But there’s no time to enjoy it, because all the focus is already on Boston’s next opponent — the Montreal Canadiens, who host the Bruins on Thursday night at Bell Centre.

Last season, the Bruins were considered the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup, but the Canadiens defeated Boston in the second round of the playoffs. To make it worse, Montreal beat the Bruins in Game 7 at TD Garden.

If it was possible for this storied rivalry to become any more intense, it has. And now the teams will play their first regular-season game again each other since the playoffs.

“We’ll be ready,” Julien said Wednesday. “The emotions tonight were high and we’re going to need that tomorrow. But tonight also [our emotions] were under control and we’ll need that as well tomorrow. Emotions have to be high against one of your rivals, but if [emotions] are in control, we’ll be OK.”

The Canadiens began the season with a four-game road trip, going 3-1-0, so Thursday’s game against the Bruins will be Montreal’s home opener. While the Bruins will be playing back-to-back road games, the Canadiens have been off …read more