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RECAP: Bruins drop Red Wings on strong first period, win 6-1

The win was a necessity, and it looked mostly well-rounded. Is it too late in the season to call this a building block?

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins
Krejci had a Krejci kind of night.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

There was much to celebrate in this game. Read on to re-live it in all its goal-scoring glory. Rad Brad is legend.

First Period

The fourth line of Riley Nash, Tim Schaller and Dominic Moore got the start for this game and set a good forechecking tone on the first shift. On the line change, David Backes nearly capitalized on a turnover initiated by Nash and Moore at the end of the shift, but no luck. The Bruins had serious trouble clearing their own end, with barely any attacking time over the first 10 minutes of the period. Fortunately, Detroit wasn’t having any luck either.

The Bruins got a power play opportunity after Wings forward Dylan Larkin was called for hooking with 12 minutes to play. Bruins’ first unit did a fair job of setting up in the offensive zone, but were determined to get a cross-crease pass to Pastrnak and the Wings intercepted it twice. Tim Schaller went hard into the boards and left the game, not to return, so the 3rd and 4th lines had some double-shifters through the rest of the night.

With just under 9 minutes to go, a chip pass off the boards at the B’s attacking blue line just got behind Detroit Defenseman Danny DeKeyser, and Krejci casually walked around him to collect the loose puck in the circle, deking goalie Jared Coreau off his post just a little too early and tucking it into bed. 1-0, Bruins.

Almost exactly a minute later, on a zone-entry attempt by Detroit, David Pastrnak collected the puck and lofted a lob pass into the high slot in front of Coreau, where Brad Marchand would collect and deposit. 2-0, Bruins.

After another ninety seconds, Pastrnak would drive through the zone and attempt a stickhandle through the defense, but it was blocked by Detroit and tipped to Drew Stafford, who kicked the puck to his stick and roofs a wicked wristah for his first goal as a Bruin. 3-0, Bruins!

The B’s looked to wrap up the period with some basic dump-and-chase, but Dominic Moore got called for slashing and Detroit D Xavier Ouellet would get a matching roughing for taking Moore down. The 4-on-4 would afford the Bruins a bit more time and space, which is always dangerous. The Wings tried to burn the clock by keeping the puck behind their own net, but with a two-on-two situation with Krejci and Pastrnak, bad things would happen (for the Wings). Pastrnak got to the defensemen and stopped a pass attempt, made a move to the front of the net with the puck and tried to pass it to Krejci higher in the slot but lost the puck on a stick check. Larkin tried to stickhandle under Krejci’s stick only to have Krejci pick off HIS clearing attempt, quickly firing a high shot and netting his second of the game. 4-0, Bruins!

Second Period

The 4-on-4 ended without much fanfare - after all, not much can happen in those ten seconds anyways.

McQuaid took a puck to the inside of his knee and needed to skate off nearly immediately, but as we all know, he’s a tough customer. Later in the period, he would take a high stick, and on the resulting power play the B’s would own the Detroit zone more completely than owning all the railroads in Monopoly. No additional goals, unfortunately, but hey, it’s still 4-0.

The Wings nearly scored on a deflected point shot that went off the end boards to bounce in off of Tuukka, but Chara was there to clear it out. Vatrano and Jensen would get tied up in front of Mrazek, and both would get called for a penalty - tripping on Jensen and embellishment on Vatrano. Another 4-on-4 set.

Brad Marchand skated well wide of Detroit D’s vision, took a long pass from Colin Miller, skated in alone, and pulled all of the moves out of his bag of tricks to get Mrazek to split, tucking the puck between his legs for a beauty and his 2nd of the game. 5-0, Bruins!

Short-lived was the Garden buzz, as Niklas Kronwall managed to get a puck through screens in front of Rask and into the top corner of the net. 5-1, Bruins still lead.

Still, the prospect of a hat trick from either Marchand or Krejci kept the Garden Faithful active in the stands.

Third Period

Just thirty seconds in, Pastrnak wheeled and fired this sneaky shot from the top of the slot. 6-1, Bruins!

He nearly had another one on a semi-breakaway, with a defender on his back; Mrazek would stretch just far enough to force Pastrnak to put the puck just wide of the net.

Detroit began to play a bit more physical; however, already being down 6-1, it looked like they were going through the motions away from the puck which led to multiple neutral-zone giveaways by Detroit. The Bruins pressed, but didn’t over-commit, and the dump-and-pin work by the 3rd/4th line combinations necessitated by Schaller’s injury and some good cycling by the top two lines helped to eat time off the clock. Brandon Carlo took an interference penalty around the midway point, and the Red Wings were able to put five shots on net on the PP and in the moments following it.

The period would end with two consecutive penalties on the Bruins, which would give them the literal ability to ice the game for the final four minutes. This one wound down pretty quickly, and the B’s got the two points they desperately needed out of this game.

Game Notes

  • With his two goals, Brad Marchand now has 32 markers on the season and is the first Bruin to score 70 points in a season since Marc Savard in ‘08-’09, when he scored 88.
  • Trending through the end of the season, it’s conceivable to have five players over fifty points apiece, with Marchand already well above that mark and Pastrnak will at least get into the mid-60s (the other three are Torey Krug, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci, all in the 40s). While this doesn’t guarantee the playoffs, or playoff success, it’s good to have some balance there. And, with Backes and Spooner in the 30s, they’re within range of the 50-point mark with some puck luck.
  • Generally, through most of this game, the Bruins kept themselves from causing too much trouble; the matching penalties didn’t provide any power plays, but the B’s otherwise conceded just one power play until the two in the last four minutes. The flipside to this is that the three power plays for the Red Wings were all in the third period - not scenarios the B’s want to gift to many other teams.
  • The Philadelphia Flyers come to town on Saturday for a matinee game (gulp). They need points as badly as Toronto does, as they’re right in that Eastern Wild Card mix. Two more points will be necessary to keep the B’s in the 3rd Atlantic playoff spot.