By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Home: Boston Bruins (14-7-4)
Away: Detroit Red Wings (11-11-3)
November is over and December has officially begun for the Boston Bruins as they will play the Detroit Red Wings for the third time this season. On October 13th, the Bruins ran through Detroit – winning by a score of 8-2. Five-and-a-half weeks later, the Bruins and Red Wings met again in Detroit, with the Wings taking a 3-2 win in overtime.
Boston is coming off of a solid 2-1 shootout win over the New York Islanders where goaltender Tuukka Rask looked solid in between the posts making twenty-nine saves in regulation and overtime as well as another four saves in the shootout to secure a victory for Boston. Brad Marchand snapped a seven-game goalless drought and Ryan Donato scored the game-winning goal in the shootout. Boston is coming into the game with the best winning percentage at home at .818%.
With a record of 11-11-3, the Detroit Red Wings are sixth in the Atlantic Division with twenty-five points, seven points behind Boston. In their last game, the Wings came out with a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues. Detroit once had a 3-0 lead past the halfway point of the second period but allowed the Blues to come back to tie the game. Tyler Bertuzzi ended up scoring his second of the game and eighth of the season to win the game in regulation.
Bruins Morning Rushes
Brandon Carlo returns to the lineup for the Bruins after missing the last nine games with an upper-body injury. Steven Kampfer is a healthy scratch.
Not the start Boston may have wanted or expected. Only 1:05 into the hockey game, Colby Cave gets sent to the box for two minutes on a holding minor. Boston enters the game with the 22nd-best penalty-kill in the league with a 77.6% success rate while shorthanded. Boston successfully killed off the penalty, even while getting a close shorthanded chance.
Not long afterwards, Justin Abdelkader would go to the box for slashing and the Bruins would be on a power-play of their own. Dylan Larkin managed to get a shorthanded bid of his own but was saved by Rask with the glove arm. Bruins had a few chances of their own on the man-advantage, but no such luck when it came to scoring the first of the game. The game returns to 5-on-5.
Detroit seemed to have the better offensive chances than the Bruins for the majority of the first period. At the 13:34 mark of the frame, Sean Kuraly would have to go to the box for a tripping minor. Once again though, the Bruins managed to kill off the 5-on-4 powerplay.
With 3:30 left in the period, Dennis Cholowiski got his stick up high on David Pastrnak and he will be sent to the box himself. The fourth penalty in the opening twenty minutes of regulation time between the two teams. However, the penalty-killing units of both teams remain perfect and it remains 0-0.
In the final five seconds, in fact, with 3.8 seconds to go in the period, David Backes simply threw a shot on the backhand when in the zone that deflected off of a Detroit player in front of Jimmy Howard and it somehow hits the back of the net. 1-0 Boston, a huge demotivating moment for Detroit who had a solid frame. Bruins need to work on creating better chances on the man-advantage if the opportunities continue.
John Moore and Colby Cave picked up assists on the goal, giving Cave his first career NHL point in his eighth NHL game. Congratulations to Cave on the accomplishment!
Shots On Goal: BOS: 11 DET: 13
Score: 1-0 Bruins
The middle frame started with some decent chances on both sides. Boston and Detroit each had some good chances, including a few more bouncing pucks similar to the one that Backes scored at the end of the opening period. A goal would eventually be scored just under six minutes into the period, a deflection goal by Tyler Bertuzzi would tie the game at one apiece.
Bruins came back with some good zone time but no real opportunities came from it. About a minute after the halfway mark, Tyler Bertuzzi would be back celebrating the most after another Red Wings goal. Bertuzzi banged home a rebound shot right in front of Tuukka Rask who was on his back with Thomas Vanek in the blue paint. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy challenged the play for goaltender interference and won – no goal and the game remains 1-1.
As the game progressed, chances on both ends continued to come. Red Wings forward Luke Witkowski nailed David Krejci with an open-ice collision. After a brief time after the hit, Bruins forward Joakim Nordstrom dropped the gloves with Witkowski to stand up for Krejci. The “fight” didn’t last too long and lacked punches for the most part, but was nice to see Nordstrom step up for his teammate.
For Krejci, it is the second game in a row that he is caught with his head looking down, causing him to get nailed. Krejci did come back on the bench right away in this game, a good sign. After that, the Original Six intensity really started to kick into high gear. Brad Marchand laid a clean hit behind the Detroit bench, not pleasing Tyler Bertuzzi who challenged Marchand to fight. Marchand did not back down, receiving a cross-check by Bertuzzi who tried to flee the scene right after.
Colby Cave was not a fan of that, pushing Bertuzzi himself. Marchand then got into the mix again as well, pushing Bertuzzi around. Due to a delayed penalty, goalie Jimmy Howard began to skate to the bench but received a gentle slash to the back of his legs by Marchand. This essentially led to a line brawl, with Tuukka Rask even trying to fight Howard.
According to NHL.com, here are the penalties that came as a result of this.
BOS Brad Marchand – Slashing
BOS Tuukka Rask – Leaving the Crease served by Ryan Donato
DET Jimmy Howard – Roughing served by Jacob De La Rose
BOS Colby Cave – Slashing
Boston had three men with penalties with Detroit only having two, meaning the Wings would be on the man-advantage. On the ensuing 5-on-4 power-play, Dylan Larkin would score his tenth goal of the ’18-’19 season with a lot of battling in front of Tuukka Rask. Emotions are running high in this game and Larkin’s goal just amped that up even more.
With 1:17 remaining in the second, Mike Green is sent to the sin bin for two minutes because of a hooking infraction on David Pastrnak. Boston could not score a tally in the time but will begin the final regulation period with forty-two seconds of power-play time.
Shots On Goal: BOS: 20 DET: 20
Score: 2-1 Red Wings
Boston would fail to generate anything in the 42 seconds of power-play time to start the third and it returns to 5-on-5 hockey. Bruins 0-for-4 on the night so far.
Just nearly five minutes in, Noel Acciari takes a stick up high from Danny DeKeyser, causing yet another Detroit penalty for high-sticking. Not too long into the power-play, Ryan Donato wristed a shot that takes a big deflection off of a diving Witkowski’s stick past Jimmy Howard, his second goal of the season, tying the game 2-2. Pastrnak awarded his eleventh assist of the season and Krug gets his twelfth assist.
With the line brawl and Donato’s tying goal, the Bruins have some sort of new adrenaline. B’s with numerous odd-man rushes heading towards Howard. Everyone on the ice is firing shots at the Detroit netminder, creating chances off of rebounds and second-effort opportunities.
Unfortunately, with 8:07 left, Bruins allowed the Wings to cycle the puck around the perimeter of the zone with Danny DeKeyser firing a shot from the blueline that gets deflected by Frans Nielsen, beating Rask for his first of the season. In a game of deflection goals, the Wings now lead 3-2.
Boston manages to come right back with pressure, led mainly by Ryan Donato who continues to have a solid period. After David Krejci fails to get the puck on net, a point shot that makes it through creates a rebound for Donato in front of the crease but stays out of the net. Score clock keeps ticking away and Bruins are playing with the desperation they need.
Gustav Nyquist makes the quick move around Grzelcyk to beat him to the puck and finds himself alone with Rask. Rask stands tall and makes a big glove stop on the partial breakaway.
Bruce Cassidy made the decision to pull Tuukka Rask with two minutes left to play. The referees seemed to miss an interference call right before that. Luke Glendening nailed Matt Grzelcyk who was a bit shaken up after the collision. Grzelcyk did not have the puck whatsoever but no call was made.
Nyquist would bury the empty-net goal with 26.6 seconds left in the third period and the Detroit Red Wings will take the game 4-2 the final score. Bruins outshot Detroit 20-7 in the third.
Shots On Goal: BOS: 40 DET: 27
Final Score: 4-2 Red Wings
Max’s Three Stars
1st Star: DET G Jimmy Howard – 38 Saves, .950 SV%
2nd Star: DET F Gustav Nyquist – 1 Goal, 2 Assists, 4 Shots
3rd Star: DET D Danny DeKeyser – 2 Assists, +2 Rating, 3 Blocks