Saturday, October 5, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bruins 4, Red Wings 1
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- For the first time since the 1972-1973 season, the Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings played a divisional game Saturday night at TD Garden, with Boston winning 4-1.
After the NHL decided on the league-wide realignment, the Red Wings were transferred from the Western Conference and are now playing in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division.
The Bruins won the first of four contests between the teams this season as Torey Krug, Brad Marchand, Jordan Caron and Zdeno Chara each scored a goal. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask finished with 25 saves.
Boston capitalized on its first power play of the game when Krug's slap shot from just inside the blue line beat Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. Chara was camped out in front, setting the screen as Krug's shot whistled past the netminder to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 9:11 of the first period. Even though the rookie defenseman has four postseason goals, Saturday's tally was his first in an NHL regular-season game.
Detroit tied the game at 1-1 when Henrik Zetterberg collected a loose puck off a Rask rebound and beat Boston's goaltender through traffic to the top right corner at 16:49 of the first period. The Red Wings caught a bit of a break on the goal. As Detroit was in transition, the puck appeared to hit the glove of a Red Wing player on the bench, but the play was not whistled dead and Detroit broke in and scored.
Boston regained its lead only 36 into the second period as Marchand tallied his first of the season. He gained control of the puck and broke down the right side, his off wing, and fired a shot from the right faceoff circle and beat Howard to the top left corner to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
During most of training camp, there was a lot of focus on the Bruins' third line and what it would look like once the regular season began. In the first two games it's been Caron, center Chris Kelly and rookie right winger Reilly Smith, and that trio has performed well. The third line gave Boston a 3-1 lead at 7:58 of the second period when Smith showed great poise with the puck in front of the net before dishing it to Caron, who beat Howard.
The Bruins' power play was also a point of focus during the preseason. Coach Claude Julien has tinkered with having Chara in front in the past, but this season it's been a consistent effort and it's worked. He scored a power-play goal at 12:17 of the third period to give Boston a 4-1 lead. He beat Howard with a backhander to the top right corner. Earlier on the same PP, Chara hit the post.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT: After scoring his first goal of the season 36 seconds into the second period, Marchand was injured on the next shift when the Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader caught him with a blindside hit away from the puck in front of the Bruins' net. Marchand remained almost motionless on the ice and was tended to by team trainer Don DelNegro. Fortunately, Marchand skated off the ice on his own and went directly to the locker room. He returned to the bench a few minutes later and was back on the ice and finished the game.
CHEERS: Periodically during the game, the Bruins provided fans with an update from the Red Sox ALDS Game 2 against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Each time the Garden faithful responded with a nice ovation. The 17,565 at the Garden went crazy when Ortiz's second home run of the game was shown. The final out of the Sox's 7-4 win was shown during the second intermission and the place erupted.
UP NEXT: The Bruins will have Sunday off and then return to the practice ice for three days before they host the Colorado Avalanche Thursday at the Garden.