The Red Wings suffered a nightmare they could not escape while on the road. The Boston Bruins mauled away at Detroit from beginning to end leading to their massive 5-2 win at TD Garden Thursday night. Their two points put them back in a tie with Detroit but still sat in the wild card spot due to the Red Wings advantage on Regulation Overtime Wins
It was a huge moment for both teams as the Bruins sat out of the playoffs while the Red Wings stood on a ledge to be in it. To secure their consecutive playoff streak of 2 years, they had to deal with a second straight game and lose home advantage visiting Boston for the last time this season. Two points separate the two and with the game mattering most, one will do what it takes to stay out front while the other will make their final regular season so important.
David Pastrnak got the ball running well for the Bruins 1:25 into the game where he beat Detroit’s Mike Green to the puck getting one on one with Howard to score. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill challenged the call as off sides looked to have occurred on the right winger. Referees kept the goal for Boston giving Pastrnak his 14th. Things got worse for Detroit as the Bruins capitalized with strength on their end. They had a strong run of offense while Detroit was scrambling to make the coverage. It became too late as Brad Marchand made it 2-0 notching his 37th.
Things had to turn around for the Red Wings quickly sitting down two goals before three minutes elapsed in the period. Kyle Quincey made the first push as he had the puck point blank near the net but couldn’t make it go across the line. When they earned a power play, it was their best chance to get on the board and cut Boston’s margin in half.
Detroit killed the time taking no shots on Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask making the situation difficult for the boys in red. By the time the period ended, the Red Wings were fatigued, faltering while up a man on the power play and outshot 11-8 through 20 minutes.
The Red Wings had to come out stronger in the second period and did so showing the Bruins that they were ready to bring it. Detroit’s third power play was in play with the veterans trying to show their contribution to pressuring Rask in net. They had trouble getting through the tight defense of Boston who blocked shots in their zone taking time away from the Red Wings.
They did more than that after killing the penalty when they went on their own and dominated the ice where Loui Eriksson made a straight pass setting up Torey Krug with a shot that found the corner of the net scoring his fourth and Boston’s third unanswered goal against the Red Wings. 13 minutes were left in the second and for the Red Wings winning the faceoff in the Boston was key.
They set up the way they wanted to where Alexey Marchenko scored on a shot that went off the skate of Adam McQuaid inside the Boston crease. It was his second goal of the season and first in 29 games. The Bruins brushed off the loss of the shutout and went back to work trying to get Howard to fall and give up another goal. The 32 year old did work despite the tremendous pressure making kick saves and a good eye on the puck to keep things at status quo.
While he seemed to have things under control their offense was another story as they failed to get a shot on goal in the final 13 minutes of the second period. With such concern on their shoulders and the Bruins capable of shooting pucks to the net, it would take a miraculous third period for them to make a comeback.
It was not meant to be for the Red Wings as Boston completely came out and made the biggest statement of their season. It began with Marchand getting the puck from around the net and to Krug where his shot rebounded in the right spot. Lee Stempniak got to it in time beating the right pad of Howard to make their three goal return. Three turned into four 25 seconds later with Detroit turning over the puck to Ryan Spooner who skated it into the Red Wings zone. There he took a shot near the net that got the stick of David Krejci making it 5-1 very fast.
That saw the end of Jimmy Howard whose brilliant performances took a turn for the worst leaving Blashill with no choice but to pull him. Petr Mrazek was in net for the remaining 19:15 where he watched his team do very little through a large chunk of the period. At the 6:30 mark, Detroit recorded a single shot on net knowing there was no chance they were coming back from such a massive deficit. Boston was having nothing but fun out there as the notched their 10th of the period outshooting Detroit 33-14.
As the game came to a close, the Bruins recorded another shot while the Red Wings managed to get another goal in the net. Andreas Anthanasiou tried to alleviate the effects of such struggle from his team when he got one in with 1:23 left. It was the last good thing that occurred for them as the last of the seconds ticked away to give Boston a chance at making the playoffs. They ascended into the second wild card spot for the moment while the Flyers finished their game.
As for Detroit with just one game left to play, they will have a day to rest before they go into New York where there final opponents will be against the Rangers Saturday afternoon capping their 82 game season and what they hope wont be their last.