By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Home: Detroit Red Wings
Away: Boston Bruins
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman
Kuraly – Coyle – Bjork
Heinen – Lindholm – Wagner
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Moore
Fabbri – Larkin – Glendening
Bertuzzi – Athanasiou – Hirose
Erne – Filppula – Perlini
Abdelkader – Ehn – Smith
Hronek – Green
Nemeth – Biega
Daley – Lindstrom
The second half of a third back-to-back out of the long break awaited the Bruins. They made their way to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit to take on the Red Wings. The first half of this back-to-back featured a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden. The Bruins were looking to win their seventh straight game.
There was a lot going on with the Bruins roster ahead of this matinee. Brandon Carlo made his way back into the lineup after missing yesterday’s game due to a family matter. Jeremy Lauzon was suspended for two games due to an illegal check to the head on Derek Stepan.
Danton Heinen subbed back into the lineup for Anton Blidh. Urho Vaakanainen was called up from Providence on an emergency basis, but didn’t suit up. Joakim Nordstrom was placed on Injured Reserve.
Tuukka Rask started in goal again, making it back-to-back starts for him. It was the first time Rask had played in back-to-back days since March 2017. Jaroslav Halak was initially expected to start, but didn’t in a surprise last-minute lineup change because he wasn’t feeling well. An update was given late in the first period.
Brad Marchand took an early penalty for tripping, giving the Red Wings the first power play of the game. The Bruins were able to kill the penalty and keep the game scoreless early on. Sean Kuraly later went off for two minutes on a tripping call of his own with 9:05 remaining. The Bruins managed to kill that one off as well.
Just 20 seconds after the conclusion of Kuraly’s penalty, he was on the receiving end of a holding call on Trevor Daley. Fast forward 42 seconds later, and Jake DeBrusk was tripped by Valtteri Filppula, giving the Bruins a 5-on-3. Jonathan Bernier stoned Marchand on two great cross-crease chances early in the power play. The Bruins saw plenty of good looks after those two chances, including another one from Marchand, but Bernier wasn’t giving an inch and the Red Wings killed off the 5-on-3 successfully.
Even strength didn’t last for long, as Charlie Coyle was tripped by Justin Abdelkader with 3:50 left in the period. Bernier kept up his stellar play, stopping a couple chances from the top Bruins power play unit right off the bat. The Red Wings killed the penalty and the game remained scoreless after one, despite five power plays between both teams. Charlie McAvoy and Justin Abdelkader collided late in the period, and McAvoy was shaken up as a result. Shots on goal were 12-6 in favor of the Bruins.
The Red Wings got things going early, as Brendan Perlini scored the game’s first goal just two minutes and seven seconds into the period. Adam Erne intercepted a pass attempt from David Pastrnak at the Bruins’ defensive blue line and got it to Perlini who made no mistake in burying it. Tough start to the second period for the Bruins.
A tight angle shot from Andreas Athanasiou ricocheted around and hit Rask in the side of the head. While he appeared a bit stunned by it, he stayed in the game. Not an ideal sight to see with Halak not feeling well.
Pastrnak battled in the corner and sent the puck towards the net where Brad Marchand deflected it through the five-hole of Bernier and in. Unfortunately for the Bruins, the goal didn’t stay on the board as Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill challenged the play for offsides.
A chance to get the goal back came in the form of a power play after Patrik Nemeth took a holding penalty. This, the fourth power play of the game for the Bruins came with 2:56 left. The Red Wings killed the penalty. Shots on goal in the period were 14-7, bringing the total to 26-13. Plenty of chances for the Bruins, but Bernier was making things difficult.
Score: 1-0 Detroit
The Bruins didn’t waste much time getting on the board early. Torey Krug buried a tap-in goal off of a feed from Pastrnak with a fake slapshot pass. Krug’s eighth goal of the season was assisted by Pastrnak (40) and Patrice Bergeron (24). The game was tied 33 seconds into the period.
Things went a bit south for the Bruins after the goal when DeBrusk went off for tripping. Athanasiou made it hurt, sending a shot off of the left shoulder of Rask and in. The Bruins were behind again with 12:50 remaining.
More great chances came and went for the Bruins, but Bernier continued to make big stops for the Red Wings. Then Charlie McAvoy sent a one-timer from the point and hit the post. Chris Wagner had a prime backdoor chance and missed just wide. The puck luck was not there.
Dylan Larkin found himself on a breakaway in the final two minutes, but sent it just wide. The pressure was on and Rask was pulled for the extra attacker. It wasn’t enough as Athanasiou added his second goal of the game on an empty netter with 28.9 seconds left.
Tough way to end the winning streak for the Bruins. Bernier’s 39-save performance was instrumental in the win for the Red Wings. Rask stopped 17 of 19 shots on the other side of things. Shots on goal in the third period, like the second, were 14-7 for the Bruins, bringing the total to 40-20 in their favor. Next up are the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday at 7:30 PM ET at TD Garden. The Bruins are 34-11-12.