Detroit Red Wings vs. Boston Bruins: Post-game Wrap Up

Jan 24, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg (40) eyes a loose puck after being knocked to the ice by Boston Bruins right wing David Backes (42) during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 24, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg (40) eyes a loose puck after being knocked to the ice by Boston Bruins right wing David Backes (42) during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Some of us may still have been coming down from the last Bruins game. Let’s get into the third game of four between the Detroit Red Wings and the Boston Bruins.

Some preliminary thoughts prior to puck-drop: if you read our preview for the game, you would be worried about the lack of top scorers, Dylan Larkin and Thomas Vanek, both out on injuries. Fortunately, however, the Detroit Red Wings were able to quickly patch those holes by reactivating Tomas Jurco and reacquiring Drew Miller. Not that these two 3rd or 4th liners are enough to make up for two top goal scorers, but still, they both saw some good minutes in the game.

Secondly, Tuukka Rask, starting goalie for the Bruins originally thought to be sub-100%, showed no signs of slowing in the pregame skate. It looked like he would be up to his usual standards. The Red Wings were not getting any breaks in this department.

First Period

The Red Wings had to last only 44 seconds to be on better pace than last Wednesday’s match-up against the Bruins. They did, but just barely. An errant clear from Danny DeKeyser very nearly made the game 1-0 Bruins in the first minute of play. As it were, the Bruins took a lead 4 minutes into the game on a Kevin Miller goal through a lot of traffic.

It took well over ten minutes for the first legitimate shot from the Red Wings. But they made their first shot count. With a gorgeous stretch pass, Mike Green found Andreas Athanasiou speeding past a defender to net his 11th goal of the season.

Some heads-up plays saved the Wings from giving up more goals. Xavier Ouellet took a swipe at a near-goal in a chaotic mess in the crease midway through the period. Jonathan Ericsson, meanwhile, made a sliding stop on a pass that would have led to a breakaway. Unfortunately, the resulting penalty (interfering with a broken stick) led to the power play goal that put the Bruins ahead.

Starting goalie, Jared Coreau was also very impressive through the first twenty minutes. He allowed two goals on 21 shots, and could possibly be excused on the first goal through a forest of bodies. The more shocking stat? Coreau had to stop 21 shots in the first period. The Wings were out-shot 21-7. The score after one:

2. 70. 1. 72. Final

Second Period

The Wings came out in a flurry compared to their relative sluggishness of the first. Six minutes into the period, Mike Green sent a rocket for a goal to tie the game at two. The Wings looked more intense and moved the puck much more efficiently than earlier. The confidence was especially evident when 5’11” Luke Glendening (who left the game earlier with an apparent injury) re-entered the game and got chippy with 6’9″ Zdeno Chara. Power move, to be sure.

Tuukka Rask stopped about 85% of a Tomas Tatar shot midway through the period, but it was not enough. This pucked squeaked through to give the Red Wings their first lead of the night.

Jared Coreau continued to look unstoppable. He stopped another twelve shots in the period, for a total of 31. He bailed out a couple players too, viz., Andreas Athanasiou who clumsily turned the puck over that almost led to a goal.

The score at the end of the second:

Final. 2. 70. 3. 72

Third Period

The Red Wings came out steady in the third; it looked like they could hold strong. The way Jared Coreau was playing and how the Wings were moving the puck, a one-goal lead was seemingly enough. For the first eight minutes, that is.

At first, it appeared Coreau had another huge stop, but Brad Marchand picked up a mysterious rebound to the stick-side of the net. This goal tied the game at three. Coach Jeff Blashill challenged in hopes of interference, but the goal stood, costing the Wings a timeout.

The Wings were unable to capitalize on a 4 on 4, where they usually skate well. Mike Green narrowly missed his second goal on a pass crossing in front of the crease. But, tied at three was where the first sixty minutes ended. After regulation:

VS.
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Bruins2013
Red Wings1203

Overtime

The Wings immediately had trouble with the 3-on-3. They could not hold on the puck on the first possession, and Boston had a couple quick opportunities. After a line change, the play began to even out. Henrik Zetterberg had some good overtime minutes, then Brad Marchand, then Frans Nielsen. Ultimately, though, it was a pass from Brandon Carlo to David Pastrnak and a one-timer to beat Coreau with 45 seconds to go in OT.

70. 3. 72. Final. 4

The Takeaway

With the final shot count the way it was, it’s amazing the score was as low as it was. The Bruins had nearly 50 shots, their second-highest total of the season. What this means is that Jared Coreau was remarkable, as he has proven to be in most of his starts this year. All the same, the Wings need to do a better job keeping the puck out of their opponents’ zones.

Mike Green had a fantastic game, just a fight shy of a Gordie Howe hat trick. These games against the Bruins are turning into automatic “must-watches.” A 1-0 game in October, last week’s 6-5 shootout, and again in overtime with this one. Many Red Wing fans have already marked the next trip to Boston on their calendars.

The Detroit Red Wings play the Boston Bruins for the fourth and final time on March 8.