So the Wings welcomed the Bruins to Detroit for a late season battle in which Boston had an opportunity to take it a bit easy while still damaging the Wings' playoff chances. Through 45 minutes, they did a decent job of it, but the Wings' kids wouldn't be denied as Detroit came from behind in the third period to take a 3-2 win.
The refs mainly let the teams play without too much interference in this one and, despite Boston having twice as many opportunities on the power play, that probably benefited Detroit more. Boston went 1/4 while Detroit technically went 0/2, although they scored one goal just as time expired on the power play. Shots were 35-20 for the Bruins. Wait... 35-20? Holy shit.
Jimmy Howard stopped 33 of 35. He let one by him on a screened blast and the other beat him on a cross-ice feed down low during a power play. He also stopped a great power play opportunity with a cross-crease slide and did very well with rebound and recovery control.
1st Period 16:50 - Boston Goal: Johnny Boychuk (slap shot) from Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand
Detroit kills a penalty but gives up the first goal of the game on the extension of the zone time as Boychuk finds a lane through traffic. The Bruins dump the puck in just as the penalty to Nyquist expires. Marchand beats Lashoff to the puck behind the net and then shakes him off with a direction reversal. Quincey comes over to help the downed Lashoff while Franzen seals the post to eliminate the straight angle for Marchand, but here the slippery Bruin shithead spins off Quincey and throws the puck to the front of the net where Kelly waits. Nyquist gets his stick on Kelly's to prevent him from getting a shot off, so the puck rolls up to the top of the zone where Boychuk waits for it. As the defense expands out to cover this, Boychuk steps to the middle and fires a slapper through the lane. Howard is crouched over trying to see through traffic when the puck gets through him. For blown coverages, only Franzen will be cleared. He can't chase behind the net to add a third Wings player to this melee down low and really can't do anything about the defenseman on his off-wing scoring. Boychuk is Nyquist's responsibility here, but in the same vein, Kelly is the responsibility of both Lashoff and Legwand. Were it not for Nyquist pinching down to eliminate his stick, the goal probably happens two seconds sooner. Nyquist will keep his minus, but get nothing more. Legwand will pick up a half-minus for ineffective coverage in front of the Wings' net. Quincey will pull a half-minus for losing Marchand behind the net (after having to scramble to cover him in the first place). Lashoff is the real star of this show though. The combination of the initial lost battle to Marchand, the bad recovery, the missed passing lane to Kelly, and the part where he aids in the screen which beats Howard will earn Lashoff an extra minus and a half.
2nd Period 04:45 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Tatar (wrist shot) from Danny DeKeyser and Jakub Kindl
The Wings pull even on goal o the expiration of a power play as Tatar finds room for the top corner through a screen after a strong dump-and-chase zone entry. The Bruins get a clear and are able to delay the run out of the Wings' zone for a while before DeKeyser moves it up ice, crossing center ice and dumping it high into the zone with 13 seconds left on the power play. Jurco chases Eriksson into the corner, but is bodied off. Sheahan follows up tied up with Meszaros to the inside and Tatar quickly gets to the far side of the net on Kevin Miller, who tries to clear it up the boards. Kindl picks it off and hits DeKeyser on the opposite point so the Wings can get set up. DK drifts to the top of the zone while Kindl moves down to the top of the circle and Tatar comes across the middle on the same level, setting up the umbrella. DK goes to Tatar at the right circle with room to shoot, as the defenders are pulled a little too far off to the opposite side. Rask is looking around Sheahan in front when the shot whizzes by his ear and ties it. This play was considered even-strength, but it's the very end of a power play. Tatar, Sheahan, DeKeyser, Kindl, and Jurco will lose their pluses. Sheahan will get a screener's assist for the net-front work. DeKeyser will get a half-plus for the intelligent play quarterbacking on the man advantage.
3rd Period 1:10 - Boston Goal (PP): Carl Soderberg (wrist shot) from Patrice Bergeron and Dougie Hamilton
Boston pulls ahead on a good cross-ice pass during a power play that opens up the net for Soderberg. The Bruins take 15 seconds to start the period to enter the zone and then spend the next 55 moving the puck crisply to keep the PKers at bay while creating three very good scoring chances on good passes. Finally, Bergeron and Soderberg do a position-switch give-and-go pass that leaves Bergeron at the top of the faceoff circle while Soderberg loops around to the back door. While Bergeron is threatening the shooting lane, he gets a pass underneath the coverage of Miller for the backdoor goal. This is great puck movement by Boston, but Miller will get a half-minus for the small lapse in coverage that creates the goal.
3rd Period 11:06 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Jurco (wrist shot) from Tomas Tatar
The Wings pull even on a big net-front scrum where the kids hold their own and create a scramble goal. The play starts as Boychuk misses Reilly Smith with an outlet pass, allowing Kronwall to turn it back up the ice to Tatar for the entry on a pass to Glendening streaking up the wing. Glendening skates to the corner and waits before feeding it to Kronwall at the point for a shot into the four-man scrum in front. The puck hits the mess standing above the crease and gets caught up in Meszaros' gear for a little bit. As more people join the melee, the puck finally drops to where Jurco gets a shot on goal. Rask stops it, but the rebound hangs out in the same mess of bodies. Somehow while just recovering from a ten-second headlock, Tatar finds it and kicks it back to Jurco on the back door, who sweeps it in behind Rask to tie the game. First off, I'm going to give Tatar a penalty plus. The center ice ref has his hand in the air for a delayed call when the goal is scored. This is very likely on Marchand for either putting Tatar in a headlock or holding Tatar's stick. The battle here in front makes this play great. Jurco and Tatar will each get a plus for it.
3rd Period 12:48 - Detroit Goal: Gustav Nyquist (wrist shot) unassisted
Not even two minutes after the Wings tie it, Nyquist catches a turnover and then burns the league's biggest defenseman for a break which he finishes low to the glove side. Tatar blocks a shot and then forces the play all the way down the ice so the Wings can get a change after an icing against Detroit. As Jurco helps, Legwand comes in to allow both of them to get off while Boston is still trapped deep. Boychuk carries it out of the zone, but he's hounded relentlessly by Legwand up through center. Boychuk is forced to try a feed to Soderberg on the wing to get a zone entry, but the puck hits the boards and bounces far enough away that he doesn't have full control when entering the zone. With Lashoff watching closely and Nyquist pressuring from behind, Soderberg is separated from the puck by Legwand meeting him in the middle of the ice. Soderberg lets go of the puck, but doesn't have nearly enough time or space to jump around Legwand to recover it. This leaves the puck sitting alone in the middle of the ice at the top of the Detroit zone for Nyquist to pick up as he sweeps in from behind. As Goose collects, he catches Chara having just come on the ice flat-footed. Nyquist immediately presses the advantage and turns on the jets at center, making a quick inside-outside move to turn and burn Chara for a break. Goose waits just long enough for Rask to float to his right before snapping it into the net for the game-winner. Tatar is going to earn a half-plus for his work getting this change. Legwand will earn a plus for his backchecking work to create this play, and Nyquist will earn a plus for burning past one of the league's best defenders. Also, Kindl and Lashoff change behind this play and will get the pluses back that they lose to Smith and Kronwall in the process.
1st Period 14:39 - Gustav Nyquist (holding): The Wings get caught in a bit of a pinch that creates a 2-on-1 rush. To try and eliminate the advantage, Nyquist pushes back hard and ends up grabbing onto Krejci, going to the box for his trouble. This is a mixture of a good penalty and a bad pinch, but the timing of the pinch wasn't so terrible that Nyquist is entirely making up for somebody else's mistake. Nyquist and Smith will each recieve a half-minus for their share of the blame on this penalty. Smith pinched well before the odd-man resulted.
2nd Period 02:45 - Patrice Bergeron (holding): Tatar makes a good run into the offensive zone and a good cut to the middle of the ice, getting by Bergeron, who holds him to slow him down. Tatar will get a plus for drawing this one.
2nd Period 07:12 - Brian Lashoff (holding): The Bruins get a great scoring chance on a terrible turnover by Jakub Kindl. As Lashoff collapses back to cover the net, he gets called for one of three penalties that could have been called on the panicking Red Wings' defense. Kindl is going to get the minus on this. This is a brutal turnover.
2nd Period 13:54 - Tomas Jurco (boarding): Forechecking in on Boychuk, Jurco pushes him numbers-first into the boards on a dumb, dangerous play. Jurco will get a minus.
2nd Period 17:00 - Jordan Caron (cross checking): The Bruins nearly score about four times on a shift, but are stymied by a combination of Jimmy Howard and their own inability to hit the net. Finally the play ends when Caron cheats by cross checking Tatar in front of the net. No adjustment. This is dumb by Caron.
2nd Period 19:57 - Darren Helm (hooking): Helm loses the containment on Miller behind the Bruins' net and tries to slow his man down with a hook. Easy call for the refs, Helm will get a minus.
-2 to Jakub Kindl: While his defensive partner didn't play great either, Kindl was the weak link on this pairing. He was awful at controlling the puck in this game.
+1 to Kyle Quincey: This adjustment is still going to leave him under even for the night, but Quincey played better than the event numbers let on. He didn't do well getting it out of his own zone, but he cleared the net-front well and even had good plays in the offensive zone.
+1 to Niklas Kronwall: The Wings' top defenseman played like it in this game. He was very solid at creating transition and dealing with the Bruins' forwards.
+1 to Drew Miller: He played the most time of any Red Wings forward and against the top Boston line, doing so well. He also had a couple very good scoring chances to go along with with the 4+ minutes spend on the PK.
+1 to Riley Sheahan and Gustav Nyquist: I don't think they got enough credit for being as dangerous in this one as they both were. Sheahan centered the only consistently dangerous line and Nyquist drew the toughest assignment of all forwards and earned the game-winner for it.
Bert didn't play much and Andersson seems to have cooled down. Franzen was more physically engaged, but I'd like to see him get on another hot streak soon.
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