BOSTON – The Boston Bruins scored their first playoff goal against Detroit since April 4, 1957. After that long wait and after losing Game One on Friday night the Bruins were determined to impose their will on the Wings. On Sunday, the Bruins got to play, “Bruins Hockey”, which involves a much more physical style of play, unlike their effort on Friday night.
Getting the first goal of the game for the 51st time this season helped set the tone for the Bruins as well. Both teams had power-play opportunities in the first five minutes. Shawn Thornton went off for a questionable holding call, just 1:32 into the opening stanza. Detroit’s man advantage has looked quite poor in this series and is consistent with its lack of success during the regular season. Tomas Tatar was whistled off before Thornton’s penalty expired, for a hooking infraction. Darren Helm saved a Bruin goal from scoring on a deflection while the Bruins had a four on two rush going.
Bruins rookie, Justin Florek, broke the ice at 7:28, he wristed the puck past Detroit goaltender, Jimmy Howard to take a 1-0 lead. Howard had tried to make a pass to defenseman, Brandan Smith, but the puck hit Smith and bounced right to Florek who winged it by Howard into an empty net. There were no assists on the nice solo play by the Providence Bruin call-up.
An interference call on Jakub Kindl led to another Bruins power-play just .47 seconds after the Florek tally. While the Bruins pressured the Wings, they drew another penalty on a Wings defenseman. Danny DeKeyser, slashed Carl Soderberg’s stick in front of the net, and broke it in half. A short five on three man advantage was followed by another goal for the Bruins to make it 2-0. Reilly Smith swooped into the crease, behind Howard, in a big scramble and knocked it in. Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson assisted on Smith’s goal. Chants of “Howard, Howard” soon rained down on the Red Wing netminder. Shots were 10-3, favoring Boston at this point.
Brandan Smith, Reilly Smith’s older brother, was a target since the series started and was pummeled by several Bruins along the boards and went to the dressing room at one point with about eight minutes left. Several skirmishes soon evolved as the period wound down. The Bruins Torey Krug and Wings Luke Glendenning battled hard along the boards. While running out the clock at the end of the period, Johnny Boychuck held the puck between his skates and Johan Franzen came in and walloped him. This led to a scuffle behind the net and Brendan Smith pushing and shoving Zdeno Chara almost out at center ice. Chara laughed at Smith and offered to drop the gloves, but Smith was wise to leave them on. Bruins Hockey.
The teams started the 2nd period with a four on four situation, due to the penalties called at the end of the first. Niklas Kronwall really nailed Reilly Smith about a minute into the period right in front of the Bruins bench. The Bruins let Kronwall verbally know how they felt about that. Loui Eriksson hooked fellow Swede, the Wings Daniel Alfredsson, at the 5:43 mark, but Detroit just had one shot on net and no damage was done. At 10:55, another penalty on Boston was called on Kevin Miller for cross-checking David Legwand. Boston had another great penalty kill, as Detroit had no shots on Rask.
Darren Helm let a shot go from the right circle at 13:20 on Rask, but the puck was deflected by Luke Glendenning, who was jamming in front, then it hit Glendenning and went in for Detroit’s first score of the day. Assists were rewarded to Helm and Drew Miller. The score cut in half, Bruins fans were seen biting their nails. Shots were nearly even now at 21-20, favoring Boston. Two minutes later, Dougie Hamilton tripped Pavel Datsyuk to give the Wings their fourth power-play opportunity of the day. It would be their undoing. In the two games for the Wings, they have had five power-plays, 2 shots in total, and no goals or even good chances.
After killing the Hamilton minor penalty, Torey Krug zipped a pass to Jarome Iginla who hit Milan Lucic with a sleek pass in front of the net. Lucic got the shot off and despite a nice effort by Howard to even get his goalie stick on the puck; it was a heavy shot and beat the Wings goaltender. A 3-1 lead and a killer goal with just 1:44 left in the second period for the Bruins.
Early in the 3rd period, Kyle Quincey roughed up David Krejci along the boards and near the Detroit net. Quincey went off for roughing at 2:10, just .17 seconds later, Chara, who was stationed in front of Howard showed good hands and buried his first goal of the playoffs. Iginla and Krug assisted for their second goal in a row for the Bruins, who now lead 4-1.
The Bruins were able to hold the lead and withstand a Red Wing push here and there. Rask did make a great right shoulder save on a wide open Brendan Smith, after a great pass from Pavel Datsyuk. It was their best chance in the third period, but Rask was up to the task today and was voted first star of the game. The other highlight of the period was a double toe drag by two Red Wings by Reilly Smith, but the puck escaped him before he could get his shot off.
After the game, Brad Marchand, said “We had to tighten up in the neutral zone. We also wanted to hit them as much as possible.” The Bruins imposed their will on the Red Wings today. Can the Wings respond at home on Tuesday? They’ll see the same effort from Boston from here on out.http://
Kevan Miller was back in the line-up for Boston replacing Corey Potter.
Detroit outshot Boston 35-29. Boston outhit Detroit 33-29. Boston had more shot blocks 14-7.
1st Star – Tuukka Rask
2nd Star – Johnny Boychuk
3rd Star – Pavel Datsyuk