Friday, November 25, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Wings 3, B's 2 (SO)
By James Murphy
BOSTON -- The streak is over.
The Bruins' fourth-longest win streak in team history ended Friday at 10 games as the Bruins fell to the Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout. Boston rallied twice from one-goal deficits but couldn't complete the comeback.
Todd Bertuzzi scored the shootout winner for the Red Wings, who became the first team to beat the Bruins since the Montreal Canadiens did it on Oct. 29.
Pavel Datsyuk scored in the shootout and in regulation for the Red Wings. Valtteri Filppula scored Detroit's other goal in regulation.
Nathan Horton scored the lone shootout goal for the Bruins, and Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille lit the lamp in regulation.
Between the pipes, University of Maine product Jimmy Howard was spectacular in making 41 saves for Detroit. Tuukka Rask made 29 saves for Boston but suffered his first loss in his past three starts.
Rask vs. Howard: Howard praised Tim Thomas earlier this week and said that, with Thomas in net, he would have to bring his A-game Friday. Well, it was actually Rask, not Thomas, who was between the pipes Friday, but Howard still brought his best effort in making 41 saves in regulation and overtime, including 13 in the opening frame, when the Bruins outplayed the Red Wings but trailed 1-0 after one period thanks in large part to Howard. He stopped two of three shooters in the shootout. At the other end, Rask was also solid in making 29 saves but gave up two in the shootout.
Bruins' aggressive yet defensive style pays off again: The Red Wings are one of the best teams on the transition and in moving the puck out of their zone. But this season, Boston is right there with Detroit. The Bruins' transition game, combined with a tenacious forecheck, helped them contain the Wings and create turnovers that led to goals. Boston's first goal, by Paille, came off a Howard turnover, and Bergeron's tying goal 7:52 into the third period was off a Henrik Zetterberg cough-up. Playing within their system regardless of the opponent has really paid off for the Bruins.
The caged man looks just fine: Paille hasn't missed a beat in his past three games since suffering a broken nose on Nov. 7, playing his trademark defensive game based on speed and forechecking. On Friday, his hard work paid off as he scored his third goal of the season. He wasn't limited to being simply a defensive player but also showed some offensive flair with four shots and a breakaway. Despite still showing the remnants of having taken a puck to the face and despite wearing a cage, Paille looks just fine.
Bruins on Black Friday: The Bruins have played 20 consecutive home games on Black Friday, posting a 10-7-3 record in what has become a strong Boston tradition with the Bruins playing in the afternoon and the Bull Gang laying down the basketball court on the ice afterward for the Celtics to play a night game. Of course, with the NBA in a lockout, there was no Celtics game this year, but the Bruins and Wings made for an exciting Black Friday once again.