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Bruins Ground Wings, 4-1, Knot Series

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After an inauspicious start to the series two days ago, the B's rose again to level their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal at a game apiece.

Jared Wickerham

After going down 1-0 in the series, the second Boston couldn't really be accurately called a "must-win," but you had to know that the Bruins were going to come out blazing to salvage the other home game. And so they did, scoring twice in the first 11 minutes of the game and, despite some Detroit surges, generally outplayed the Wings. In the end, Boston brought home the much-needed win in convincing fashion.

The Good:

  • The first period play. Both sides struggled to get a SOG at the beginning, but Boston scored on its first attempt on target-a Justin Florek (hey he looked pretty decent on the third line, didn't he?) capitalization on a miscommunication between Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard and the Detroit blueliners. At the point where Reilly Smith crashed the net and potted the second goal, Boston lead 10-2 in shots.
  • Special teams. Boston's discipline was not the best, and the game was fairly tightly called. Missing Daniel Paille, one of their regular penalty killers, the PK was up to the task, dealing with all shrifty-five penalties without a GA. And frankly, on numerous occasions Detroit just looked baffled as to how to enter the zone without instantly having it cleared
  • Tuukka Rask stopped 33 of 34 shots, as the score effects and good Detroit period forced him to see a lot of rubber. As he was in Game 1's loss, Rask was stellar, only being beat by a Darren Helm pinball shot that caromed off Luke Glendening, a defensemen, an invisible wall, Gandalf the Grey, and at least one of the Smith brothers probably.
  • The atmosphere. Because damn if TD Garden isn't a fun place to want a playoff game at. I wasn't sure if it was possible for the place to be louder than the Habs game at the end of the long winning streak. It was possible.
  • The KIL line got off the mat and put a puck past Jimmy Howard, as Milan Lucic killed Detroit's second period buzz by potting a goal on the rush. David Krejci, Nathan Horton Jarome Iginla, and Lucic had been running cold to start the series, and it was good to see them get on the board. Let's hope that gets them going overall.
  • Carl Soderberg's line ended up in the possession black despite Detroit "chasing the game" for a long time. Play Like Carl.
  • Zdeno Chara, as he is wont to do, scored a Power Play goal to round out the scoring at 4-1. The pairing of him and Dougie Hamilton looked completely comfortable dealing with Detroit's speed.
  • The Bruins didn't let Pavel Datsyuk's magic work today. Though to be fair, he was still without Henrik Zetterberg, whose possible return is a bit of a wild card in this series.

The Bad:

  • Detroit's second period surge, while aided by penalties, was a stretch where they once again looked like the Bruins' equals. Not that fun to watch. Still, Boston reclaimed the game pretty definitively after their third goal.
  • A couple discipline issues. Most of the time, the Bruins play good, puck-moving, layered, physical Hockey. It's why they're one of the best teams in the league at 5-on-5. When they take dumb penalties though, as they did on a couple instances today, it partially neutralizes that even strength advantage. It didn't hurt them today, but the PK won't always be able to confuse Detroit as much as they did today -- Babcock will adjust.
  • We did not score an empty net goal and people got mad about that which was silly.
  • Merlot -- Now With More Jordan Caron! Is still sort of getting killed. And you have wonder if shaking it up might be a logical option, given that Detroit's unlikely to drop the gloves.
  • I'm completely convinced that white-and-blue zamboni is never going to win a race around the rink with the purple one. It's the Washington Generals of zambonis (their weren't a lot of actual negatives today, okay?)

The Interesting:

  • What with how quickly the Bruins got out to a two-goal advantage, there wasn't much Fenwick close time in this game. Thus, today's ExtraSkater stats are a bit silly-looking. With context, it's pretty clear the Bruins played a good game and controlled the play when they needed to.
  • Today's game earned the Bruins a split of the home games. The Bruins have not won a game at The Joe since March 11th, 2007's 6-3 victory. That's just a fun fact, not really something I'd bank on, of course. But man, I didn't realize that was a thing.
  • Florek's goal was only the second of NHL career, as was Glendening's. Secondgoalception.
  • I think Kevan Miller is actually considerably better than Corey Potter. So...Potter's probably not very good.
  • This whole damn series is shaping up to be much better Hockey than one might expect from a 1-8 match-up. It makes for good viewing.

The Funny:

  • Sources are reporting that Brendan Smith isn't as tall as Zdeno Chara, and also may have shorter arms. But don't take my word for it, ask Reilly.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Reilly Smith: I don&#39;t think Chara&#39;s too worried about squaring off against my brother.</p>&mdash; Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) <a href="">April 20, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Happy Easter to all, and to all, a good wait for Tuesday!