Remember the Boston Bruins who won the Presidents' Trophy? Well, they showed up today.
The series is tied at 1-1. The Wings and the Bruins are once again level.
The game did not go as planned. The Bruins were by far the superior team. The Wings never really established themselves in this game.
Here's what happened:
- The mayhem began seven minutes into the first period. The Red Wings had started the game strong. They were creating chances, and not giving the Bruins too many. But this would quickly change. Riley Sheahan attempted to pass the puck back into the Wings' zone, but the pass was weak and Howard was forced to play the puck. Howard tried to clear the puck to Smith, but he could not control the puck and his clearance bounced off of the boards into Justin Florek's stick. An easy shot from Florek later, and the Wings found themselves down by a goal. This goal was one of those were the opposition did nothing to deserve it. The Wings practically gave the Bruins the lead. And essentially the game.
- The Bruins began to surge after this goal, and were soon on a powerplay. Rielly Smith was able to sneak in behind Howard to extend the Bruins lead. Smith scored this goal moments after Doc Emerik compared Jimmy Howard to Terry Sawchuk. Thanks for the jinx!
- The Wings were outhustled, outplayed, and outworked during the latter part of the first period. The stereotype of the Bruins being big and bad was proved valid. After the final whistle, Brendan Smith decided that he needed to take matters into his own hands. Smith challenged Zdeno Chara to a fight, which Chara thankfully laughed off, as a fight between those two would not have been pretty. Mostly because Chara is eight inches taller than Smith. Here's the GIF, per SBNation:
- The Wings did seem to re-gain some of their mojo during the second period. They seemed less shell-shocked than they did in the first period.
- After 13 minutes of play, Luke Glendening would score to cut the Bruins lead in half. Helm skated past the Bruins defense and shot the puck at Tuukka Rask. The puck rebounded off of Rask onto Glendening's body, and then found its way into the back of the net. With that goal, Glendening tied himself for a team-lead in playoff goals. That my friends, is what I like to call a problem.
- The Wings genuinely seemed to re-gain their form during the second period. But everything that was re-gained would soon be deflated. With a little under two minutes left to play in the period, Milan Lucic would score to give the Bruins the 3-1 lead. I've said this before, and I will say it again, giving up a goal with less than two minutes to play in a period is the worst possible thing you can do. The psychological impacts of doing that can be devastating.
- While Lucic's goal was undoubtedly deflating, it didn't mean the end of the Wings game. No, Zdeno Chara would take care of that. It didn't even take three minutes in the third period before Chara could leave his defining mark on the game. Chara's goal would seal the 4-1 victory for the Bruins.