The Bruins showed improvement from the 6-1 drubbing they took from the Red Wings Friday night, but a flat second period did them in and they fell to the Red Wings once again, this time by a score of 4-2.
Bad second period. After a first period in which they looked like a completely different team from the one that was embarrassed Friday night, the Bruins unraveled in the second. Boston played its game of forechecking and physical hockey in the opening period and took a 2-1 lead into the intermission. But much like Friday night, they were caught standing around and stopped skating in the second period. The result was Detroit coming back to take a 3-2 lead after two and outshooting the Bruins 19-6 in the period. If not for Thomas, the Bruins could have easily entered the final period trailing by three.
Roller-coaster game for Marchand. Brad Marchand has been one of the most pleasant surprises for the Bruins this season, entering the game with 15 goals and as a key cog in arguably the team’s best line with center Patrice Bergeron and veteran winger Mark Recchi. But Marchand came back to earth a bit Sunday. He made a very regrettable backhand pass across the danger zone in front of Thomas that led to Bertuzzi’s first-period goal and struggled with his decision-making throughout the game. But he also battled hard and was rewarded with a first-period goal to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. Marchand finished with one point and was a minus-2 in 19:12 on the ice.
Ryder and Wheeler playing better. After some struggles, Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler have been playing much better of late. Ryder is using his body and skating harder along the boards while Wheeler is using his side to drive through the opposing defense and get to the net. Ryder had two assists Sunday, Wheeler one. Ryder now has four points in his last three games.
Seguin comes back strong. After spending the last two games as a healthy scratch, rookie Tyler Seguin returned to the lineup and immediately contributed, scoring the Bruins' first goal only 1:29 into the game. Seguin looked rejuvenated and with the exception of some miscommunication with defenseman Dennis Seidenberg on Kris Draper’s second-period goal, Seguin seemed to have benefitted from his time spent in the press box watching. He finished the game with one point and was a minus-1 in 13:16 on ice time.
Power play improving. While the Bruins were swept in the home-and-home set with the Red Wings, they saw continued improvement on the power play, going 1-for-2 on the man-advantage Sunday. The Bruins have now gone 5-for-10 on the power play in their last three games and seem to have found some chemistry with their current units. The grit of Gregory Campbell and Marchand has helped a lot.
Bertuzzi a Bruin-killer. Bertuzzi had gone seven games without a goal entering Friday night’s game at Boston. Well, consider the Bruins the perfect elixir for the big winger as he lit the Bruins up for two goals Friday and another pair on Sunday. The Bruins had no answer for Bertuzzi’s size and grit as he had his way around the net.
Kampfer sits; Hamill sent out. Unfortunately for Steven Kampfer and his 50 or so family and friends on hand for what they thought would be his first NHL game in his native Michigan, coach Claude Julien decided that the rookie blueliner needed a break after registering only one assist in his last 10 games. Kampfer and center Zach Hamill, who has one assist in three games since being called up Feb. 3, were the healthy scratches Sunday. Hamill was sent back to Providence following the game.
Up next. The Bruins will be back to work on Tuesday, hosting the Maple Leafs before heading out on the road to start a six-game swing that starts Thursday against the Islanders at Long Island. After that, the Bruins head to Ottawa Friday, then out to northwest Canada next week for games against Calgary (Feb. 22), Vancouver (Feb. 26), Edmonton (Feb. 27) and Ottawa again on March 1.