The Bruins and Red Wings faced off Saturday afternoon in their third meeting of the season. Detroit was able to walk away with victories in the first two games of the season series. The Bruins, however, were determined to make sure they would not drop three in a row to the worst team in the NHL. This was also the first game of the season series played in Boston, and the Bruins took advantage of some home cooking in this game.
The Bruins came into Saturday's game ready to play, creating some dangerous offensive chances early in the game. An early penalty on the Red Wings gave the Bruins a power play, but things did not go as planned. Krug had an attempted pass stolen by Helm which resulted in a two on one going the other way. Helm fired a shot on Rask which handcuffed him just enough that the rebound popped right out in front of the Bruins goalie. Unfortunately Rask missed the rebound with his stick in a clearing attempt and Helm was able to get the puck into the net, giving the Red Wings a 1-0 lead. The Bruins would not be disheartened after allowing the early goal and continued to put the pressure on Detroit in the offensive zone. The Bruins almost tied the game up on a behind the net shot by Coyle, who bounced the puck off of Bernier, but it just wouldn't go in the net. The Bruins out shot Detroit 18-6 in the first period and the players and fans were all having flashbacks to last weekend's game at this point.
The Bruins would continue to creat high quality offensive chances, especially the third line once again. A big part of the Bruins offensive pressure was creating turnovers in Detroit's defensive zone. This finally paid off just over eight minutes into the period. After a failed clearing attempt, Charlie McAvoy got the puck at the the pint and fired a shot into a crowd in front of the net. The puck found its way to Marchand on the right side of the net but Bernier was able to stop the shot. Another failed clearing attempt, then off the rebound McAvoy fired a shot and this time it beat Bernier blocker side to tie the game at 1. Less than two minutes later on the penalty kill Marchand wins a battle along the boards and finds Bergeron alone in the slot. With a smooth forehand to backhand move Bergeron freezes Bernier long enough to slip the puck by him on the blocker side to take a 2-1 lead. The Bruins were still not done as the third line would finally get in on the scoring. Heinen would show why he is an under appreciated part of this team, out working two Red Wings defenders and getting the puck back to the point. McAvoy would fire a point shot and Coyle would tip it by Bernier to make it 3-1 Bruins. The best part of this play, however, was a visibly frustrated Bertuzzi completely losing his cool and snapping his stick on the ice and almost falling to the ice over it.
The Bruins kept their foot on the gas to start the third period with the third line once again creating some great chances. Heinen and Coyle would both have good looks resulting in Coyle hitting the post after getting the puck by Bernier. The Red Wings would almost get the Bruins lead back to one on a great play by Larkin. Larkin entered the Bruins zone with speed going behind the net and feeding a pass to right below the left dot. Fortunately Rask was up to the challenge and made a huge blocker stop on Lindstrom, who had the left half of the net open for just an instant. With seven minutes left in the period the Bruins would put the final nail in the Detroit's coffin. Marchand would carry the puck into the offensive zone and proceed to completely undress Athanasiou before getting the attention of all three Red Wings back on defense. Marchand got it to an open Pastrnak below the left dot and Pasta roofed a wrister over the blocker side of Bernier. Rask would make a few big saves in the last few minutes to preserve the lead and the Bruins walked away with the win 4-1.
Final Thoughts/Three Stars
The first star of the game doesn't go to one player but the entire third line. The third line created a quality scoring chance it seemed every time they were on the ice. They clearly were setting the tone for the team, and if they can play like that the rest of the year look out NHL. The second star of the game goes to Marchand, who was all over the ice winning puck battles creating turnovers and showcasing his stick handling on more than one occasion. The Third star goes to Tuukka Rask. While it wasn't his busiest game he made some timely and impressive saves allowing the Bruins to keep the momentum and not letting Detroit back in the game. The win was also Bruce Cassidy's 200th as a head coach, so congratulations coach on the milestone. The Bruins will be back in action Sunday in the second half of the weekend back to back against the Rangers. While out of the playoffs, the Rangers are no cake walk and the Bruins will need to build on the good habits they had yesterday if they want to push the win streak to three games. Please don't forget to check out the rest of our Boston team pages for all the news and updates happening in the world of Boston sports.