Red Wings Eliminated in 4-2 Loss to Bruins

Much like in the previous week of games, the Detroit Red Wings had no answer to the Boston Bruins on Saturday, leading to a 4-2 loss in Game Five of their Atlantic Division Semifinal matchup.

It was the fourth-straight loss for the Red Wings, who were eliminated from the playoffs after only managing to win Game One in Boston.

Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, making his second consecutive start in place of the flu-ridden Jimmy Howard, made 29 saves on 32 shots in the losing effort for Detroit.

The Bruins opened the game’s scoring just 3:27. On a power play, Dougie Hamilton carried the puck down the right wing and threw a pass from the corner into the slot. The puck bounced off Darren Helm and right to Loui Eriksson, who cut to the right faceoff circle and backhanded a chance under Gustavsson’s glove.

Pavel Datsyuk tied things up at 5:19 left in the second period. With Detroit on a power play of their own, Henrik Zetterberg fired a long shot that was knocked down by Boston goalie Tuukka Rask. Johan Franzen was on the doorstep to sweep the puck to Datsyuk, who was driving in from the left wing to snap a shot into the back of the net.

Boston captain Zdeno Chara put the Bruins back out in front with just four seconds left in the period, blasting a shot from the top of the right circle past Gustavsson on another power play.

Milan Lucic made it 3-1 at 4:27 of the third. Torey Krug picked off an attempted outlet pass by Franzen at the Detroit blue line and carried it down low on the left wing before sending it to the front of the net where Lucic was wide open to knock a shot past Gustavsson.

Zetterberg would give the Red Wings hope with 3:52 remaining, fighting off Chara and getting to a loose puck at the bottom of the left faceoff circle, then lifting a no-angle shot into the far corner past Rask to make it 3-2.

With 16 seconds left, Jarome Iginla would close things out with an empty net goal.

Rask finished the night with 31 saves on 33 shots.

The Red Wings scored on one of their seven power play tries while Boston scored with the man advantage on two of six attempts.

Defenseman Xavier Ouellet made his NHL playoff debut, replacing Jakub Kindl in the Detroit lineup… Goaltender Jake Paterson was a healthy scratch as Howard was well enough to back up Gustavsson… Daniel Alfredsson returned after missing two games with a back injury, replacing Todd Bertuzzi.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Bruins – Game 5 – 4/26

I’ll put together some more complete thoughts later but for now… As I said before, the Red Wings could have beaten the Bruins in this series. It would have taken a nearly perfect series to do so, but they could have.

They didn’t. Needing perfection, they were sloppy and looked tired. That’s all a team like Boston needs to pick you apart, and they did exactly that to Detroit.

So the Wings are done. They’ll look different next year (I’ll have more on that in the coming days, that’s for sure) but the good news is they learned a ton this season, so when they’re back they’ll have the benefit of that.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Bruins – Game 5 – 4/26

The Red Wings’ season could end this afternoon, as they face a 3-1 series deficit heading into Game Five in Boston.

Jonas Gustavsson will get the start in net for Detroit, as Jimmy Howard still has the flu, though rumors abound that he may have actually been concussed from a knee to the head in Game Three. Howard won’t even be available to serve as backup as he nominally did in Game Four, so Jake Paterson has been called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

In another lineup change, Daniel Alfredsson is expected to return after missing two games due to a back injury. There’s no word on who he would replace.

If the Red Wings were to lose Game Five, it would just be the second series in their history that they lost in five after winning Game One.

Stupid stat of the day: In the nineteen previous times Detroit has gone down 3-1 in a best-of-seven series, the Red Wings are 7-12 in Game Five.

Game time is 3:00 PM on NBC.

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