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Bruins’ comeback bid falls short vs. Red Wings

Posted By DJ Bean On October 14, 2013 @ 3:31 pm In General | 13 Comments

The Bruins couldn’t quite live up to the standard set by the their fellow New England teams over the weekend, as a late comeback against the Red Wings fell just short in a 3-2 loss at TD Garden.

Milan Lucic scored with 1:20 left in the game to bring the B’s within one, but the Red Wings held on for their first win against Boston since joining the Eastern Conference.

The Red Wings got on the board at 11:33 of the first period when Pavel Datsyuk beat Zdeno Chara and fed Henrik Zetterberg for the Detroit captain’s second goal in as many games against the Bruins this season. Loui Eriksson was able to get a stick on a Johnny Boychuk slap shot that got past Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson, but second period goals from Stephen Weiss and Daniel Cleary put the game out of reach.

Claude Julien kept Brad Marchand on the third line after demoting the struggling forward in the third period of Saturday’s win over the Blue Jackets. Marchand remained with Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron, while Reilly Smith played the entire game on Patrice Bergeron‘s line with former Stars teammate Eriksson.

The Bruins will next play Thursday in Florida against the Panthers.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Monday’s game was the first this season in which Tuukka Rask has allowed more than one goal. Rask allowed a total of four goals over the first four games of the season, and given the way the Bruins played defensively on Monday, you could hardly blame him.

- The B’s blew a golden opportunity to get back into the game in the third period. Just six seconds into a Niklas Kronwall┬ápenalty, Daniel Cleary took a tripping penalty to give the B’s a 5-on-3 for 1:54. The Red Wings were able to weather it, as the Bruins maintained possession throughout but never really came close to burying one.

Interestingly enough, the Bruins did not use Torey Krug at all on the 5-on-3, as the B’s went with Zdeno Chara and Jarome Iginla at the points on their top unit.

- That’s two goals for Datsyuk’s line against the Bergeron line and Chara pairing in two games this season. As Twitter follower @TCountie brought to our attention during the game, the Bergeron line and Chara pairing allowed just one five-on-five goal all of last season (Jan. 31 against Thomas Vanek), and Zetterberg has done double the damage against the impenetrable quintet this season in just two games.

Zetterberg’s goal featured some uncharacteristically shoddy defensive play by the Bruins. A Bergeron giveaway started the play, while Chara had every opportunity to physically take Datsyuk out of the play. Chara instead let Datsyuk go around him and retain possession, allowing him to slide the puck over to Zetterberg.

- While the goals against aren’t pretty, it’s still good to see Eriksson pick up his second goal in as many games. He seems to be getting more comfortable with Bergeron, though it remains to be seen how long it will be before Marchand rejoins the line.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Overall, the Bruins played well offensively. The top three lines got a good number of chances, while Krug was sensational in the offensive zone. As Dan Cagen of the MetroWest Daily News pointed out, Iginla and Krug combined for 1/3 of the Bruins’ attempted shots through the first two periods. Iginla led the Bruins with five shots on goal for the game.

Of course, playing well offensively can only take you so far when you’re not scoring. In particular, a third-period flurry from the first line during a delayed Red Wings penalty yielded nothing despite Lucic pretty much having an open net with bodies down in front of the net.


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