Overtime, 6:28, 3-2 Bruins: It’s over! The Bruins’ OT dominance pays off in the form of a win, the and the Bruins now lead the series 3-1.
Dougie Hamilton lobbed a shot toward net from the half wall. Iginla may have gotten a piece of it, it wasn’t clear, but it doesn’t matter all that much. The Bruins won the game, and they now have a dominant 3-1 series lead. What a huge swing that one goal made.
(The goal was credited to Iginla. Lucic looked like he might have gotten a piece after Iginla’s redirect, but we’ll let the experts figure that out.)
Overtime, 9:43, 2-2: And … breathe.
The ice crew is on the ice for the only break of the OT period, and Detroit desperately needs this break. The Bruins are piling up chances and keeping the pressure on Detroit, and a team can only survive that way for so long.
The Bruins are outshooting the Wings 10-2 in OT, but they need to end this if they want that to matter.
Overtime, 11:39, 2-2: An offensive zone faceoff is coming up for the Bruins after Torey Krug burst to beat Drew Miller to win an icing race. The Bruins are leading in shots this period, 8-2.
Overtime, 13:48, 2-2: Carl Soderberg with another great chance for the Bruins, as he patiently carries across the high slot and fires a shot on net.
Overtime, 14:56, 2-2: After the Abdelkader breakaway, the Bruins have had the next two chances, with Shawn Thornton fanning on a would-be one-timer and David Krejci later weaving through space in the offensive zone.
Overtime, 17:24, 2-2: Justin Abdelkader broke free all alone in the opening seconds of OT, but Rask stayed patient and stoned the Red Wings forward on the breakaway to keep the game alive.
Overtime, 20:00, 2-2: OK, here we go. I said before the third that the next goal would win, so I’ll have to stick with the Bruins as a pick. But really, I’ve seen enough playoff OT to know these things end in a hurry and they can go either way.
End of regulation, 2-2: Well, let’s be honest. You’ve looked around the league this postseason, and you’ve seen nearly every series have at least one overtime game. It was bound to happen in this series, and we’ll get our first glimpse of it right now.
Both teams had their chances late in the third, but the Bruins were the ones putting more pressure on the opponent.
But now it’s OT. What happened in Games 1-3 doesn’t matter, and what happened in the first three periods tonight doesn’t matter. It’ll take one team to make one play in one sequence, and the series will shift accordingly.
One major thing of note: The refs have stopped calling penalties on Bruins for any “chicken-winging” of sticks being done by Red Wings players. It’s been a common occurrence this series, and the refs just aren’t calling it anymore.
Third period, 4:03, 2-2: The B’s and Red Wings are playing at an absolutely frenzied pace right now, with the puck going end to end and the crowd making hopeful cheers followed by fearful gasps.
Tuukka Rask just stopped at least two, maybe three or more, shots from in close in a mad scramble in front of the net, and before Tatar could walk out into some open space at the bottom of the faceoff circle, Loui Eriksson bumped him off the puck.
Patrice Bergeron then nearly broke free, but the pass from Marchand out of the Boston zone was just too far out of his reach. The eventual shot on the possession deflected over the glass, setting up the final TV timeout of regulation. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Third period, 8:46, 2-2: The game is still tied at 2-2, but it shouldn’t be.
For the second time tonight, Brad Marchand blew a chance at a wide open net. This one came after Torey Krug sent a pass from the left wing across the slot, where Marchand one-timed it toward a completely open net. Yet his shot sailed high and wide, play continued, and the teams play on.
Had Marchand been able to even be 50 percent at hitting empty nets tonight, the Bruins would be leading.
On a recent episode of “Behind The B,” he switched to a new stick because he hadn’t scored in a few games. I have a feeling tonight’s stick is going to end up buried in a Detroit dumpster within a few hours from now.
Third period, 12:49, 2-2: It remains very quiet, and very tense, inside Joe Louis Arena, as the Red Wings and the home crowd appear to be a bit stunned.
The Bruins have a 5-3 shot advantage thus far in the period, and they nearly buried another one after the Lucic goal but Eriksson couldn’t settle a puck on his stick on a 2-on-1.
We’re back to Game 1 levels of third-period tension, so the only advice here is to buckle up and get ready for a wild ride. This is playoff hockey right now.
Third period, 18:45, 2-2: Tie game.
The Bruins came out with an extra jump in their step, and they tie this thing up just 1:15 into the period.
Dougie Hamilton made an incredibly soft breakout pass from his own end, showing enormous skill. Carl Soderberg struggled to gain control in the Detroit end but eventually was able to flick a backhand feed to the goalmouth, where Milan Lucic buried the game-tying goal.
It’s awfully quiet at Joe Louis Arena.
Third period, 20:00, 2-1 Red Wings: Here we go. Will this series go 2-2, or will the B’s rally to take a 3-1 lead?
End of second period, 2-1 Red Wings: Forty minutes gone, the Red Wings still own that one-goal lead.
For sure, the Bruins had a much better second period than first, but the deficit remains the same.
While the Bruins improved over those 20 minutes, there were still moments of puck watching, and the top line of Lucic-Krejci-Iginla remains MIA. With the Bergeron so focused on trying to slow down the Datsyuk line, the Bruins really need that first line to carry the weight of the scoring. Thus far, they’ve been nowhere to be found. Combined, they have two shots on net and one shot attempt that was blocked. That’s not first line material.
But, of course, it can change. I’d say the team that scores the next goal is likely to win. When the Wings score, the place goes bonkers and the Red Wings ride the momentum. When the Bruins score, you can hear a pin drop.
Second period, 4:39, 2-1 Red Wings: The Bruins are able to kill the penalty, despite Detroit owning the puck in the offensive end for much of the two minutes. All PK’s are important, but that one felt extra important.
Second period, 6:46, 2-1 Red Wings: Gregory Campbell made some contact with Darren Helm from behind, and Helm went flying into the boards (partly due to Campbell’s force, partly due to a bit of a self-launch), and the Wings are going back on the power play.
The crowd has been nearly silent since the Boston goal, so the penalty comes at a most inopportune time for Claude Julien’s crew.
Sec0nd period, 9:46, 2-1 Red Wings: The Bruins have life.
They didn’t have much power play time, but they sure made the most of it.
Torey Krug fired a shot from the point and it deflected off a Detroit stick and beat Gustavsson top shelf for the first Boston goal of the night.
Second period, 11:44, 2-0 Red Wings: The Red Wings’ power play last all of 13 seconds, as Bertuzzi hit Chara away from the puck in the neutral zone. Interference for Bertuzzi, and they’ll play 4-on-4 for 1:47.
Second period, 11:57, 2-0 Red Wings: The Red Wings are up 2-0, and they’re heading on the power play.
Kevan Miller lost his stick behind the Boston net and rather than pick it up, he decided to wrestle with Justin Abdelkader.
Miller mauled him, and he’ll get a two minute minor for it.
Dangerous territory right now.
Second period, 15:33, 2-0 Red Wings: The Bruins came out much better in the second period, but the Red Wings got one opportunity and they buried it.
Niklas Kronwall got himself behind the Boston net, and with Rask on the right post, Kronwall passed in front to Datsyuk at the left post, and it’s tough to miss an empty net from there (Brad Marchand excluded).
It’s 2-0 Wings, and it’s going to be tough to climb out of this on the road.
Second period, 20:00, 1-0 Red Wings: They’re back on the ice. Let’s see if anything looks different time around.
End of first period, 1-0 Red Wings: The Bruins barely had the puck during that two-minute stretch, and they head to the dressing room knowing they got thoroughly outplayed in that opening period. It’s the exact opposite of Game 3 in that regard.
But it’s only a one-goal deficit, and Tuukka Rask looks to be in the same kind of zone he’s been in all series. The goal he allowed was a blast from the point with a Todd Bertuzzi screen in front of the net, and he made 13 saves in the period.
The talk prior to this series was that we’d be seeing two puck-possession teams go at it. The past four periods have shown us just how good each team can be at owning the puck and therefore controlling games.
The Red Wings had 14 shots on net, while the Bruins had just 15 total shot attempts. Only five of those have actually made it on net, and add one more for Reilly Smith’s post.
Still, Marchand missing the empty net was the play of the period.
First period, 2:32, 1-0 Red Wings: Smith is going to the box for tripping Smith.
In this instance, it works in Boston’s favor. Brendan Smith got his stick between brother Reilly Smith’s legs, and down went Reilly.
The Bruins power play has a chance to tie this one up with a power-play goal and change the feelings in the intermission.
First period, 3:54, 1-0 Red Wings: Scoring chances don’t come any easier than that, but Brad Marchand couldn’t make the play.
Kevan Miller took a pass at the right point and decided to not shoot and instead to send a pass to Marchand on the left wing. Marchand took the pass and had a wide open net staring him in the face. He got the puck on his stick and then … missed wide. Badly.
That’s a huge opportunity missed, obviously, and it’s one that will be remembered.
First period, 9:00, 1-0 Red Wings: Well then.
Datsyuk won the faceoff back to Niklas Kronwall, who unleashed a slapper that flew through traffic and beat Rask high to the glove side.
Wings still have two minutes of power play time, because it was a double minor.
First period, 9:04, 0-0: It’s a game of wild swings of emotion and momentum, and that was just on display.
Datsyuk turned the puck over at the neutral zone, and Marchand quickly turned it into a partial breakaway for Reilly Smith. Smith was getting harassed from behind, so his options were limited, but he was still able to sneak a puck through Gustavsson’s five hole. However, it hit the post (a common theme for the Bruins recently), and play went the other way.
And when it did, Drew Miller was the recipient of a high stick from Justin Florek, and it was ruled to be a double minor. Miller didn’t appear to be bleeding, but apparently he was injured enough to draw the double minor.
First period, 12:59, 0-0: One thing became instantly clear in the opening minutes of Game 4: Tonight is going to be different from Tuesday.
The Red Wings came out of the gates flying, putting heavy pressure on Boston and generating two solid scoring chances in the first three minutes. The first saw Zetterberg sending Datsyuk free up the right wing, but Datsyuk fired wide to the stick side of Rask. Shortly thereafter, Gus Nyquist dropped a pass back to Darren Helm, but his shot too went wide to Rask’s right.
Still, the Red Wings are bringing it early on here, something they never really did in Game 3.
Dougie Hamilton and Justin Abdelkader got into a little shoving match after Rask gloved a shot prior to this TV timeout, and they’ll both sit in the box for two minutes apiece for roughing.
First period, 20:00: The teams are ready, so let’s play hockey.
Bergeron won the opening draw, and Game 4 has begun.
8:02 p.m.: Wow, here’s a shocker. There’s a change between the pipes. Jonas Gustavsson will start instead of Jimmy Howard, because Howard has the flu.
Howard had a 2.02 GAA and .931 save percentage in this series. He coughed up a puck that led to the Bruins’ first goal of Game 2 on Sunday, and Babcock hinted that the goaltender perhaps should have stopped Dougie Hamilton’s shot in Game 1, but he’s played fairly well in the series overall.
Gustavsson went 16-5-4 with a 2.63 GAA and .907 save percentage this season. This will be his playoff debut.
7:46 p.m.: Based on pregame warmups in Detroit, it seems like Zetterberg will indeed suit up tonight.
That’ll obviously give the home crowd and home team a huge emotional boost, but his effectiveness might not be what they’re used to seeing out of their captain. He hasn’t played since February, and he hasn’t been hit since then either. The Bruins have been supremely physical in this series, particularly in the past two games, and Zetterberg would naturally be inclined to shy away from getting hit, one would think. So we’ll see if he’s able to take up some real estate in front of the net and battle for pucks in the corners.
It’s not as if Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk and Kevan Miller are going to seek out Zetterberg with a cheap hit or anything. It’s just that they won’t hesitate to lay the body when the opportunity presents itself.
7:34 p.m.: The two teams are on the ice for pregame warmups, and that includes Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg.
7 p.m.: The Detroit Red Wings took the ice in Tuesday night’s Game 3 and laid an egg.
Don’t expect the same tonight.
Mike Babcock is as tough as they come as a head coach, and though he accepted blame for his team’s lack of execution in that Game 3 loss, you can no doubt he’s gotten in enough ears in the past 48 hours to make sure the brain cramps and lapses in effort don’t resurface tonight.
Yet that still might not be enough to top the Bruins, who were the best team in the NHL during the regular season and looked very much like it in Game 3. The Bruins played a thorough, heavy, suffocating game, and they had Tuukka Rask to cover any minor, momentary slip-ups in the game plan.
They’ll likely to need to change up some of their approach, though, because in the playoffs, the second you comfortable is often the same time you get steamrolled. And if Henrik Zetterberg can return, you can bet the home crowd and the home team will have an extra jump in their step coming out of the gate.
If that’s the case, it may turn into a situation where the Bruins have to survive that initial push in the opening five or so minutes, before they really try to do what they want to do.
We know already that lineup changes are in store for the Wings. We’ll see how those changes impact this game once the puck drops.