Bruins Live Blog: Red Wings Beat B’s 1-0 In Series Opener
Final, 1-0 Red Wings: It’s all over, the Bruins aren’t able to get a shot on net in the final minute, and the Red Wings lead the series 1-0 after a thrilling Game 1. We’ll see you Sunday for Game 2.
Third period, 40.2, 1-0 Red Wings: With the goalie pulled, the Bruins have an offensive zone faceoff upcoming after a timeout.
Third period, 3:01, 1-0 Red Wings: This building is … quiet.
Pavel Datsyuk weaved in the offensive zone on a 2-on-2 while Justin Abdelkader drove to the net. Datsyuk fired a low wrister to Rask’s blocker side and flat-out beat him with the shot. Wings lead 1-0 with just a few minutes to play.
Third period, 5:26, 0-0: A solid shift by the third line of Florek-Soderberg-Eriksson has this crowd charged up in the final TV timeout. It’s tense inside the Garden, but not in a negative way. It feels like the 17,000-plus fans feel the Bruins are going to win this game.
Third period, 8:15, 0-0: Loui Eriksson nearly potted the game’s first goal, after Jakub Kindl had a bad turnover at the Detroit blue line. Eriksson edged around a flat-footed Kindl and drove from the left wing toward the net. He got a shot on goal before getting submarined, but Howard made the save.
I’m starting to get a triple-overtime feeling here. It’s early, though.
Third period, 12:19, 0-0: The B’s don’t score on the power play, but they peppered Howard with a series of shots and grabbed some momentum in this game. Thornton put a long slapper on net, which Howard swallowed for a whistle, and the B’s will have an offensive zone faceoff coming out of the timeout.
Third period, 14:43, 0-0: Amazing action to start the third, with Rask making a ridiculous toe save to rob Darren Helm on the doorstep for what should have been an easy goal. Now, Tomas Tatar goes to the box for interference, and the Bruins power play gets its first opportunity of the night.
Third period, 20:00, 0-0: The third period has begun. Who will get that first goal?
End of second period, 0-0: And this one heads to the third period, still tied 0-0.
Shots are even at 16-16, which paints a pretty accurate picture of how even this one’s been. Both teams have exchanged some jabs and hooks, with neither being able to land a haymaker just yet. It’s been a solid, back-and-forth game, though the Red Wings own a distinct advantage in shot attempts at 40-27.
In such a tight game, we’re already entering the “one-bounce-can-determine-a-game” territory. Normally, that’s reserved for playoff overtime, but one goal might be all it takes to determine a winner for this one.
Second period, 41.1, 0-0: Another penalty killed by Boston. Zero shots on net for Detroit during that man advantage.
Second period, 4:02, 0-0: For the second time tonight, the Red wings are heading on the man advantage. This time, it’s a holding call on Torey Krug.
Second period, 9:26, 0-0: I spoke too soon on that “controlling the pace” thing, because the lat four minutes have been all Detroit. The Bruins could not get the puck out of their own end whatsoever, and it didn’t matter who was on the ice for either team. The puck was stuck in the Boston zone as the Wings piled on three shots and controlled play.
But Chara was eventually able to chip the puck out of the zone, and Shawn Thornton’s dump-in and Jordan Caron’s net drive led to Howard covering up the puck for a Detroit zone faceoff. The Merlot line will stay out there to take it, which is weird, but hey, they were the only guys to shift the pace a bit in the past few minutes.
Second period, 13:44, 0-0: A strong response from the Bruins to start the second period, as they’ve played a much tighter game and are much more in control. The Wings have yet to get a shot on net through six-plus minutes in this period.
The Bruins had a solid scoring chance when Jimmy Howard lost his goal stick for a long stretch. Dougie Hamilton teed up a one timer from the blue line, and it looked like he was aiming five-hole. But Brendan Smith blocked the shot with his shin pad to end that threat.
Second period, 20:00, 0-0: The second period has begun.
End of first period, 0-0: The Bruins were able to kill the penalty, forcing Detroit to make passes on the perimeter. The Wings only got one shot on net during the man advantage.
The power play should have ended about a minute in, when Tomas Jurco tackled David Krejci using his free hand. It was a pretty obvious instance of holding and/or interference, but it went uncalled. That’s two missed calls on Detroit in that opening period.
Overall, Detroit has played the better game. The Wings have engineered some chaotic sequences in the Boston end, the kind that can lead to those goals that tend to bounce in off skates and sticks from wild angles. Some call it luck, but the Red Wings are doing all they can to create their own.
Shots are close at 11-9 in favor of Detroit, and the shot attempts (Detroit with 19, Boston with 18) are even closer.
The physical play has been the biggest part of this game so far. Bodies are flying everywhere, with the Bruins being credited with 17 hits and Detroit with 11. Dougie Hamilton also just got under the skin of Darren Helm as the two locked up in the corner. Helm fell to the ice and from my vantage point, he took the shaft of Hamilton’s stick to the side of the head while down there. Helm let Hamilton know he didn’t appreciate it, but it surely was just the cost of doing business in the corners. With Miller out, that type of play is going to be needed from Hamilton.
As is often the case, Rask was the Bruins’ best player that period. The Bruins need to do some settling down in the neutral zone and start to control the puck more in the Detroit end of the ice. For as much as the Bruins want to chip it deep, that’s not going to be incredibly useful if they can’t gain possession afterwards.
First period, 3:52, 0-0: The fans here are chanting “bull droppings!” which means the Red Wings are headed on the power play.
Despite the fans’ protests, this boarding call on Zdeno Chara was a good one. Brendan Smith had his back to the ice while facing the boards with the puck on his stick in the Boston end when Chara walloped him from behind. Smith spent a few seconds to gather himself on the ice, and the call was made.
Detroit’s power play was mediocre this season, but they’ll get a chance here to put the first one on the board.
First period, 6:40, 0-0: The Red Wings have taken over the pace of the game a bit here in the first period, but Tuukka Rask has stood up to the challenge.
His toughest save came at the 11:10 mark, when Danny DeKeyser sent a direct wrister toward net from the blue line. There were two bodies directly in front of Rask, but he was able to duck underneath them to make an impressive toe save.
He’s got nine stops already.
First period, 13:41, 0-0: As expected, this game has started at 100 mph. The Bruins came out flying, owning the puck for the first two or so minutes of the game without generating a great shot on net.
Tomas Tatar then broke free for Detroit and skated in 1-on-1 with Andrej Meszaros. He fired low to Rask’s blocker side, and the netminder kicked away his first shot of the net.
Jordan Caron also made his presence known by absolutely demolishing Brendan Smith in the corner behind the Detroit net. If Caron can do things like that, his presence might not bring about groans from Bruins fans.
Brad Marchand is also ready for the playoffs, and he made that clear by delivering a couple of hard left hooks to the back of Justin Abdelkader in the neutral zone.
The refs also missed a clear trip by Detroit, when Milan Lucic turned into Bobby Orr in the Detroit zone.
First period, 20:00: Patrice Bergeron wins the opening faceoff, and this one has begun.
7:35 p.m.: A fantastic pregame pump-up video just got this building amped up for this game, and the Bruins and Red Wings have now taken the ice as Audioslave’s “Cochise” blares over the PA system.
We’re just an anthem away from this series getting underway.
Starters for tonight:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Dougie Hamilton-Zdeno Chara
Justin Abdelkader-Johan Franzen-Pavel Datsyuk
Brendan Smith-Niklas Kronwall
7:02 p.m.: The Bruins and Red Wings are on the ice for warmups.
For Boston, Matt Bartkowski is not present, so he won’t be playing tonight. That was expected.
Daniel Paille also isn’t out there, which was also expected. Chris Kelly is not on the ice. That was also expected.
What isn’t expected as much — Kevan Miller is not present.
Justin Florek is on the ice to fill in at forward for Kelly, and Jordan Caron will play in the place of Paille. Both Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter will fill in for Bartkowski and Miller. Yikes. That flu bug apparently was a doozy, because it’s costing the Bruins two regular starting D-men.
Game 1 ought to be an interesting one now.
6:45 p.m.: We’re getting there now.
Here’s a look inside the Garden as we wait for the teams to hit the ice for warmups.
5:30 p.m.: Great googly moogly, it’s been a long time since the Boston Bruins have played ice hockey, but that wait mercifully ends tonight at the TD Garden. The Detroit Red Wings are here, and they’re ready to take on the President’s Trophy-winning B’s in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The two teams haven’t played since Sunday, but don’t expect too much of a feeling-out period when this game begins. I expect to see two teams going full tilt from the first drop of the puck. These are two teams with a healthy amount of respect for each other, but that won’t mean much with so much on the line.
By now, you’ve heard, read and digested every bit of preview available for this series. For my money, the Bruins should win this series without too much resistance. They’re the better team on paper and most of the players on that roster know what it takes to win.
Of course, this is the NHL playoffs, and things often don’t go as planned. And the Red Wings last year took Chicago all the way to a Game 7, so they’re far from a pushover.
The only guarantee is that this building is going to be deafening, and this series is sure to be a great one.
Every single bit of info before the game will be right here in this live blog, as will every bit of analysis throughout Game 1. Check back early and often.