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: Bruins @ Red Wings – Game 4 – 4/24

Well, the Red Wings went from their best period of the series to… Something less.

The first period was amazing. Whether it was due to their backs being up against the wall or the return of Henrik Zetterberg or the other line changes or a need to play better in front of Jonas Gustavsson, who got the start on late notice when Jimmy Howard came down with the flu, Detroit came out strong and had Boston on their heels. Niklas Kronwall‘s power play blast put Detroit out in front. Then early in the second Pavel Datsyuk made it 2-0 and the Wings were rolling.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last. We’ve heard all series that the Red Wings can’t let Boston get a chance on the power play. In the second period, the Bruins got 13 seconds. They only needed two. Suddenly it was 2-1. Milan Lucic was left alone cutting to the net early in the third and things were tied up. And Detroit was never really in it again.

Yeah, Justin Abdelkader had his partial breakaway chance in OT but he never really had the puck control that he wanted. Boston outshot Detroit 12-3 in the extra frame. The Wings didn’t really have a chance.

And then the Bruins got the bounce. Off Luke Glendening, off Danny DeKeyser, in behind Gustavsson, it’s over.

I can rant about how I hate that the Bruins get away with getting their sticks up or late hits or whatever but I don’t think that’s been the difference in this series. Outside of Game One, the Red Wings just have not had the ability to play a complete game against these Bruins. Boston has simply been the better team.

Do I think the Red Wings can turn it around? Sure. Do I think they’re going to? Not particularly. It would take them flipping a switch, playing three consecutive games like they did in Game One. They haven’t been able to get one more of those all series, so I don’t see how they’re going to get three.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Boston – Game 2 – 4/20

After a 1-0 win in Game One on Friday, the Red Wings can take a stranglehold on their Atlantic Division Semifinal series with the Boston Bruins today, as a win would send them back to Detroit holding a 2-0 series lead.

Boston will have the services of Milan Lucic, who was not suspended by the NHL for his spear between the legs of Danny DeKeyser in the first period of Game One.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 7-5-1 all-time in the playoffs on Easter Sunday. That drops to 2-5-0 when the game is on the road, so all five of Detroit’s Easter playoff losses were road games.

Game time is 3:00 PM on NBC.

Datsyuk Leads Red Wings to Game One Win

Pavel Datsyuk scored the game’s only goal in the closing minutes of the third period on Friday night and Jimmy Howard made 25 saves as the Detroit Red Wings earned a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins in the opening game of their Atlantic Division Semifinal matchup.

Datsyuk’s highlight-reel goal with 3:01 remaining in regulation broke a scoreless tie. At the Detroit blue line, Datsyuk reached behind himself with one hand on his stick to collect a pass from Johan Franzen, knocking it up between his own legs as he broke through the neutral zone. Gaining the Boston end, he cut to his left, using the Bruins defenders for a screen before snapping a heavy shot past Tuukka Rask.

The Bruins would pull Rask for an extra attacker in the final minute but could not pull even.

The shutout was the third of Howard’s playoff career and came in his first-ever Game One road win.

Rask made 23 saves on 24 shots in taking the loss.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had two chances with the man-advantage to the Bruins’ one.

The teams will meet on Sunday afternoon in Boston for Game Two of the series.

Boston forward Milan Lucic speared Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser between the legs at the end of the first period. He was not penalized for the play.

The Ends Justify The Means

It went unpunished last night and I really don’t expect supplemental discipline today, but Milan Lucic‘s spear between the legs of Danny DeKeyser is still generating buzz.

Over at Habs Eyes on the Prize, Andrew Berkshire already dove in to the Boston media’s reaction but I want to focus on one particular quote.

Though many will bemoan Milan Lucic’s grape-busting stick work on Detroit’s Danny DeKeyser in the second period of Game 1, the simple fact is that in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the ends do justify the means.

That’s Jerard Fagerberger of the Boston Globe in his piece In Defense of Lucic’s Cheap Shot – Welcome to Playoff Hockey.

Let that quote sit in for a bit. Think about what it really means for the ends to justify the means. Think about how far that can be taken.

Danny DeKeyser shutting you down means you spear him in his manhood? What do you do to the player who scores a goal on you, elbow him in the head? Take a skate blade to the glove hand of the goalie who blanked you?

It’s an asinine justification because where do you draw the line?

We have a rulebook for a reason. Everyone lives inside it and everyone stays safe. You know what we call the kind of person who thinks the rules don’t apply to them, who skirts the law when it suits them? A sociopath.

Gustavsson Leads Red Wings to 3-2 Win over Bruins

Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson made his first appearance of the season for the Red Wings on Monday, leading Detroit to a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins in a surprise start in the matinee matchup.

Jimmy Howard was scheduled to get the nod in the Detroit crease but the bruised hand he suffered in Saturday’s win over the Philadelphia Flyers was aggravated during pre-game warmups, leaving Gustavsson to take over and stop 28 of the 30 shots he faced.

Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring with 8:27 remaining in the first period. Pavel Datsyuk stole the puck in the neutral zone and broke into the Boston end, skating around Zdeno Chara before backhanding a cross-crease pass through two Bruins to Zetterberg, who hesitated just long enough to catch goalie Tuukka Rask going down before wristing a low-angle shot into the back of the net.

Loui Eriksson tied things up 2:39 later when Johnny Boychuk‘s shot from the right wing boards deflected off of his leg and past Gustavsson.

The Red Wings regained the lead at 8:21 of the second period on a goal by Stephen Weiss. Johan Franzen raced into the Bruins’ zone down the left wing and controlled the puck, feeding Weiss on the right side of the slot for a quick wrister past Rask.

Just 2:20 later it was 3-1 when Daniel Alfredsson fed Daniel Cleary with a pass from behind the net to the front of the goal, where Cleary snapped a chance by Rask.

Milan Lucic made it close, scoring with 1:20 remaining in regulation and Rask on the bench for an extra attacker. The Bruins would be unable to even things up, however.

Boston was held scoreless on five power plays. Detroit did not have a chance with the man-advantage.

Rask faced 24 shots and made 27 saves.

Red Wings Dropped by Bruins in Season’s First Loss

The Detroit Red Wings couldn’t get anything going against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins on Saturday night, dropping a 4-1 decision in their first loss of the 2013-14 regular season.

Team captain Henrik Zetterberg scored Detroit’s only goal of the game as the Bruins stifled their offense and – at times – turned their defense inside out.

Livonia-native and former Michigan State Spartan Torey Krug opened the game’s scoring for Boston at 9:11 of the first period. Just 15 seconds into a power play, Krug was left uncovered in the high slot to take a pass from Milan Lucic and blast a shot through a screen by Zdeno Chara and past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Zetterberg would tie things up with 3:11 left in the period. After Pavel Datsyuk gained the puck in the neutral zone, Justin Abdelkader drove to the net with it, putting a shot on Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask. Abdelkader whiffed on his own rebound but Zetterberg got to it and snapped a shot past Rask to make it 1-1.

Brad Marchand would put the Bruins back in front only 36 seconds into the middle frame. Racing down the right wing, Marchand snapped a shot off the far post past Howard and into the net.

At 7:58 of the period Jordan Caron made it 3-1. After a series of giveaways by the Detroit defenders, Adam McQuaid worked the puck down to Reilly Smith in the slot, who passed it off to Caron in the left circle for a wrister past Howard.

Chara rounded out the scoring with 7:43 remaining in the third period, sneaking in behind defenseman Brendan Smith in the slot to take a feed from Krug and put a backhander past Howard to put the score at 4-1.

The Bruins scored twice on four power plays. Detroit had two chances with the extra attacker on the night.

Howard finished the night with 33 saves on 37 shots. Rask stopped 25 of 26 Detroit chances.

Having completed three games in four nights to start the season, the Red Wings are now off until next Thursday when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.

After sitting for the first two games as a healthy scratch, Tomas Tatar swapped in for Mikael Samuelsson on the Red Wings’ fourth line.

Red Wings’ Goal-Scoring Back on Track in 6-1 Rout of Bruins

The Detroit Red Wings scored more goals on Friday night than they had in their previous four games combined, ending a goal drought with a 6-1 win over the Boston Bruins.

Detroit had been shutout twice in the four games leading up to Friday’s win, with a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers and a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators giving them only four goals combined over that stretch.

Todd Bertuzzi led the Red Wings with a pair of goals, including the one that opened the game’s scoring just 1:10 into the first. He moved up the right wing on a two-on-one with Brian Rafalski and blasted the puck from the top of the right faceoff circle over the shoulder of Boston netminder Tuukka Rask.

Exactly two minutes later, Danny Cleary made it 2-0 when he drove to the net and took a feed from Jiri Hudler, banging it past Rask.

David Krejci cut the lead in half with a power play goal with 2:07 remaining in the first. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard got tangled up with Milan Lucic at the side of the net and Lucic got the puck to Krejci to bang into the open goal.

Hudler restored the two-goal lead at 1:09 of the second, going to one knee to roof a shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle past Rask on a feed from Henrik Zetterberg.

Zetterberg added a goal of his own with 3:46 remaining in the period, coming from the side of the net to backhand a shot over Rask on a Detroit power play.

Bertuzzi’s second of the night made it 5-1 just 24 seconds later when he got to a loose puck behind the net and banked it in off of Rask.

Tomas Holmstrom wrapped up the game’s scoring, beating Tim Thomas from the top of the crease off a feed from Hudler with 6:09 left in the game and the Red Wings on a five-on-three. Thomas had replaced Rask to start the third period.

The Red Wings scored twice on six power play chances on the night while the Bruins’ lone goal came on one of their three tries with the extra attacker.

Howard finished the night with 25 saves on 26 shots. Rask made 14 saves on 19 shots and Thomas stopped 14 of the 15 chances he faced.

The two teams will meet again on Sunday in Detroit for the back end of the home-and-home series.

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