Boston rookie goalie Andrew Raycroft was most assuredly the star of this game. The Red Wings peppered him with shots and set up numerous scoring chances, but Raycroft always seemed to be right where he needed to be, and the bounces all went the Bruins' way. Boston won the game 3-0.
Detroit outplayed Boston considerably in the first period, outshooting the Bruins 13 to 3. Raycroft was solid, making big saves on Pavel Datsyuk, Kris Draper, and Ray Whitney. The Bruins, unfortunately, scored on only their second shot of the game. Dan McGillis knocked the puck away from Brendan Shanahan at the blue line, then got it to Sergei Samsonov. Samsonov made a short pass to Joe Thornton, who faked to his left, then pulled the puck back to the right and put it between Curtis Joseph's skate and the goalpost.
Boston, having a lead, began to shut down the game at that. They played a skillful trap, and the Red Wings had a tough time breaking through the blue line to generate offensive chances. Meanwhile, Boston scored their second goal of the game on an odd bounce off the back boards. The Bruins won the faceoff in Detroit's zone, and Jeff Jillson banked the puck behind the net. The puck bounced back off the side of the net and into the goal crease, and Travis Green was able to whack it into the net.
The Red Wings tried even harder to pressure Raycroft after that, but he was steady, sliding all the way across the net to make a save against Brett Hull and stoning Henrik Zetterberg on a near-breakaway chance.
Raycroft made 35 saves for his second career shutout. Joseph made 23 saves on 26 shots. The Red Wings will soon have the chance to avenge their loss: these two teams will play the second game of their home and home series Saturday afternoon at the Fleet Center in Boston.
Notes: Dave Lewis is guaranteed to be either the head coach or assistant coach of the Western Conference All-Star Team in February. The jobs go to the head coaches whose teams have the highest and second-highest points percentage (points earned divided by points possible) after January 8. Whether Lewis goes as the head coach or the assistant depends now on whether Tony Granato and the Colorado Avalanche win or lose tomorrow night against Nashville.
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