Love was in the air for the Red Wings as they fell head over heels for scoring the puck. Three different players on the Detroit squad assisted in their 6-5 defeat of the Boston Bruins Sunday evening. The win pushed them a point ahead of their rivals into second place in the division.
Detroit’s last game of a five game homestand comes against another Atlantic Division rival that stands in their way of second place. The Bruins sit just one point ahead of the Red Wings with the Florida Panthers not far back. Boston has won the first two games in the series with Detroit with one that took place in OT. If they wanted to get a third win, they would have to do it without Patrice Bergeron who was day to day with an undisclosed injury.
The Wings were looking to keep their winning streak at home alive but the Colorado Avalanche ended it Friday night in a shootout. Before they go back on the road, they’ll hope to produce goals against the Bruins and keep them from making a comeback through 60 minutes of play.
Boston didn’t need a comeback as they got out front just eight seconds into the game. On the faceoff, Bruins forward Brad Marchand fired the puck from the circle and scored one behind goaltender Petr Mrazek for his 28th this season. The Red Wings answered them to even things with work done by Justin Abdelkader and captain Henrik Zetterberg who scored the goal for his 11th. Boston coach Claude Julien challenged the call that Zetterberg was off sides at the blue line but was overruled by officials upholding his goal.
They responded by regaining the lead with Zach Trotman notching his second on an unassisted goal changing the score 14 seconds later. Things settled down between the two Original Six teams as they initiated power plays halfway in but nothing coming of them. Boston kept their lead on the score adding another goal for good measure to the first period. David Krejci was responsible for getting the play ready for teammate Loui Eriksson who drove hard to the net scoring his 19th.
Detroit got a much needed power play with six minutes left in the period as they opened play in the Bruins zone to move the puck around near the blue line. The scoring chances got started with Brad Richards firing the puck at Tuukka Rask where the rebound got to the stick of Pavel Datsyuk to score Detroit’s second goal and tenth of the season. The goal helped him reach his 900th career point and seventh in the last five games. It was the last scoring moment of the period with the Red Wings outshooting Boston 9-6 despite sitting a goal down.
They leveled with the Bruins 3:13 into the second period with Darren Helm getting a piece of it. His shot bounced off a few players near the crease before going into an open part of the net for his sixth on the year. A good chance for Detroit came on a 4 on 3 power play where they tired out the Bruins before each regained a man on ice. By the time it went to 5 on 4 Datsyuk faked and then fired a shot top shelf to give the Red Wings the lead and his second of the game.
Helm decided to join Datsyuk with a second goal as he fired a shot from the faceoff circle that curved right into Rask. It gave them a two-goal lead and a goaltender change from Boston. Former Red Wings netminder Jonas Gustavsson was put in to replace Rask and prevent his previous team from scoring anymore.
The Bruins offense helped him out by scoring a big goal from Denis Seidenberg for his first. They weren’t so lucky to tie things with the Red Wings as their defense minimized the Bruins offense till the end of the period while they registered a few at their old teammate till time came to an end. With things very close going into the third, it was anyone’s to win, as strategies would formulate what would take place.
Detroit began the period on the power play but it didn’t go their way from the start. Finnish center Joonas Kemppainen tied the Bruins at five goals all with a shorthanded rush that helped him score his second of the season. The Red Wings made nothing of the man advantage and now had the Bruins breathing down their necks.
Five minutes of calm went by before the Red Wings caught a huge break. On the faceoff in the Boston zone, Detroit won the puck with Datsyuk clearing it out near the boards. Danny DeKeyser was there to gain possession and fire a shot that went off the stick of Zetterberg becoming the third Red Wings player with two goals.
With the lead back in their hands, the Red Wings fought off Boston and the time in order to walk out of the arena winners on Valentine’s Day. The Bruins were hunting for the tying goal and overtook Detroit on shots to the net to ruin Mrazek’s day on what was his 24th birthday. He stayed tight between the pipes continuing to block Boston from leveling once again.
Two minutes were left in regulation and Detroit wanted to increase their lead to secure a win. Boston pulled Gustavsson from the net making it 6 on 5 for one last attempt. The Bruins never found the chance to get it and fell in the final two minutes giving Detroit the win at home. The birthday boy had plenty more to celebrate despite his allowance of five goals against the Bruins. He earned his 22nd victory making 17 saves for a .773 save percentage, his lowest of the season.
Mrazek would more than likely recover from the scoring binge he was put through as the Wings take off for a four game road trip spanning the next week of the calendar. It’s more than likely he’ll get the day off when Detroit plays against the New York Islanders tomorrow afternoon.