Thomas Vanek still recovering from a lower body injury and Jimmy Howard starting in net were the headliners as the Detroit Red Wings looked to extend their winning streak to 7 games on Saturday night against the Boston Bruins.
Boston entered without two of their top offensive performers, David Pastrnak (suspension) and David Backes (elbow surgery), but get their star netminder Tukka Rask back in action.
It was also Hockey Fights Cancer night at the Joe and the Wings wore some sweet purple warmup jerseys and Howard rocked a really cool purple mask.
Steve Ott got the game started by trying to gut Zdeno Chara. Both ended up in the box on misconduct penalties, but nothing came from the ensuing 4v4.
Bruins had the best chance in the first half of the period, but Darren Helm blocked a Chara slapshot in the slot.
Wings finally got a shot on target with 9 minutes left in the first.
Drew Miller got rocked like he was playing QB for his alma mater and Luke Glendening followed up the play with an interference penalty. Nothing came from the ensuing Bruins power play and that just about did it for the first.
Holy jumpin’ that was a terrible period of hockey.
Shots: Bruins 8 - Wings 6 or 7 - 7 depending on who you ask.
Score: Bruins 0 - Wings 0
2 minutes into the second the Wings get their first power play of the game, but Brad Marchand gets a short handed breakaway after a Gustav Nyquist turnover and he has to take a slashing penalty to keep Marchand from getting a better scoring opportunity.
Howard makes a nice cross crease save on Czarnik with 12 minutes left in the second. Bergeron and Czarnik remind me of Cyrano de Bergegac, sorry.
Wings get some good chances with Justin Abdelkader and Tomas Tatar, but Rask stands tall and keeps the game 0-0.
Tim Schaller looked to be on a breakaway for the Bruins, but Dominic Moore took a cross checking penalty and put the Wings back on the power play. Wings made sure to give back the breakaway opportunity back to Schaller as he goes in on a shorthanded breakaway, but his shot catches the knob of Howard’s goal stick and goes out of play.
Helm ends a bad shift by chipping the puck over the glass for Bruins power play with 6 minutes remaining. Howard is seeing the puck well and controlling his rebounds as the Wings kill off another penalty.
Bruins get the scoring started as Dylan Larkin turns the puck over in the slot and Schaller puts a bad angle shot past Howard. Blashill challenges the play to see if it was offsides, but it is confirmed as a good goal.
With 1:29 on the clock, Larkin takes a bad penalty in the offensive zone. Nothing doing so far on the power play as the period ends.
Overall, a better period of hockey as both teams had some scoring chances, but the Wings continued their turnover plagued play.
Detroit needs a spark. Andreas Athanasiou has the lowest time on ice for the Wings with only 6:24. Do with that as you please.
Shots: Bruins 25 - Wings 18
Score: Bruins 1 - Wings 0
Tatar with a good scoring chance in the slot, but doesn’t get all of it and Rask swallows up the puck.
8 minutes into the third, Torey Krug impersonates his alma mater’s offensive line and takes a holding penalty. Wings still have a hard time getting the puck to the net and come up empty again.
Offside. Turnover. Icing. Repeat.
Hey, Larkin and Athanasiou on the ice together. That’s nifty.
Wings pull the goalie with a minute and a half left. Brandon Carlo follows that up with a boarding penalty and the Wings go 6 v 4 with 1:13 left. Detroit spends most of the remaining time falling over and loosing the puck. They do get an opportunity with about 3 seconds left, but the puck gets blocked in front again and the buzzer sounds.
If you sat through this entire game please go do something to cleanse your soul.
Shots: Bruins 36 - Wings 24
Score: Bruins 1 - Wings 0
0-4 on the power play. 36% on face-offs. Wings were only credited with 13 giveaways, but that seems low. It was ugly. Detroit struggled getting pucks to the net and making clean exits out of their own zone. Had a couple of good chances on offense, but never sustained pressure for an extended amount of time.
Bright spot for Detroit was the goaltending yet again. Howard made 35 saves, but the one he gave up was a weak, short side goal.
Howard did say postgame to FSD that the “building was warm” and it looked like the ice was not in top shape, but Detroit still needs to play much better.
Detroit tries to avoid streaking in the wrong direction when they take on the Florida Panthers tomorrow night at the Joe (5 o’clock start).