A late offensive assault by the Red Wings was all for not as the dropped as 3-2 contest to the Bruins. Danton Heinen and Sean Kuraly led the charge for the B’s with two points a piece, Jimmy Howard turned aside 28 shots while Tuuka Rask stopped 26 in the win. Marty Frk opened the scoring for the Wings on the powerplay on a bullet of a one timer in the second period. Halfway through the second Boston responded with a pair, curtesy of Kuraly and David Kreiji. The Bruins dominated play for most of the game until Heinen’s 12th of the year made it 3-1. The Wings turned up the energy level for the back half of the third, which resulted in a late Frans Nielsen tally. However, it was too late as Detroit dropped its second in a row, 3-1 to Boston.
For the first time in sixteen contests Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou were split up by coach Jeff Blashill to start this one, the two came into the contest scoreless in their last five games. The Red Wings came out flying with all sorts of pressure against one of the hottest teams in the league, pinning their first line on the ice for the first two-and-a-half minutes of the game. Although, it shouldn’t come as a surprise after the way the Wings lost to Florida, having a controversial goal call cost them the game.
The Larkin, Tatar and Abdelkader trio did an apt job of snapping the puck around the zone opening options at the point, the best opportunity was a low-hard slapshot courtesy of Nick Jensen. The Bruins trailed throughout the first half of the opening frame on the shot chart. However, the following four minutes saw a mini-barrage oh shots which led to no grade ‘A’ scoring chances.
With Nik Kronwall sitting in the sinbin for hooking, Patrice Bergeron zipped down the right-wing side on the rush and was just stopped by the tip of Howard’s glove. This powerplay shot easily takes the title of best scoring opportunity of the period.
First Period Takeaway
While Detroit was able to keep the Boston offense to the perimeter for the majority of the first, if the Wings defensive lapses continue Jimmy Howard is going to have to earn first star honours to pull out the ‘W’ tonight. With that being said, if the Wings defense continues to jump up offensively they may catch the Bruins with a backdoor play or two.
Tomas Tatar had a great shift to start the second stanza drawing a hooking penalty on Charlie McAvoy. The winger moved his feet hard all shift long eventually prompting McAvoy to obstruct 21 on his way to the net. The ensuing powerplay led to some great puck work along the top of the umbrella after Gus Nyquist made a good puck protection play in the bump position in the slot. His kick-out pass to Henrik Zetterberg was sent up top to Kronwall who slid a wheel house pass right onto Marty Frk’s platter. Frk’s one timed blast ripped right through Tuuka Rask and into the cage for a 1-0 Red Wings led.
Halfway through the first the Wings were caught helmed in off of an errant Frk clearing attempt and the Bruins cashed in. A point shot from Sean Kuraly went off of Tyler Bertuzzi’s hand and right onto the stick of Danton Heinen who smacked a pass through the slot to David Kreiji who sailed a perfect backdoor feed to Sean Kuraly to tie the game.
An offensive zone face-off just over two minutes later was set up beautifully by Boston. David Kreiji started the play by looking tick-tack-toe to Bergeron ending with Jake DeBrusk who was tied up in the low slot. The resulting scramble popped lose to Kreiji who had crept up to the mid slot, he hammered home his 10th, 2-1 Bruins.
Second Period Takeaway
The Bruins dominance in the puck possession game continued through the second period bringing their edge in the chance department to 11-3 and shots 24-12. Detroit will have to tighten up defensively and limit the breakdowns in the third to keep this one close, but, it hasn’t been close so far. And… Charlie McAvoy is a damn good denfenseman his poise and vision are incredible.
Can they pull it off?
A powerplay was in store for the Red Wings three minutes into the third having gone 1/1 on the night thus far. Darren Helm drew the call for tripping, being bumped down by Zdeno Chara. However, the best opportunity on the powerplay went to the short-handed Bruins. McAvoy blocked a Mike Green attempt and elected to shoot on a two-on-one with Kuraly, sending the puck just wide of the net.
Halfway through the third period Kuraly set up Heinen off of a hard-nosed offensive drive by Austin Czarnik, Heinen made no mistake from the mid-circle wiring home a laser to spread the B’s lead to two, 3-1.
In the latter stages of the third it’s nice to see Larkin still flying around trying, almost single-handedly, to will the Wings offense into a goal. Especially the high, short-side drives he wound down on Rask while shorthanded.
Empty net, down two, two minutes to go, miracle time….?
Well that’s half way. Another goal for the red guys, another spawned from the stick of Frk. 42 hammered a one timer that Rask was unable to handle, the rebound popped right to the stick of Frans Nielsen who jammed it home, 3-2.
Off of the next offensive set up with a minute to go a hard point shot deflected off of Chara’s head right down to Nielsen, AGAIN, however, this time Rask would pounce on it for the whistle. After a Detroit timeout the ensuing draw saw the Bruins scrub the puck to the wall and eat 20 seconds off of the clock before icing it.
That would be as close as the Wings would come, falling to their Atlantic Division rival Bruins, 3-2.