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Bruins even series with Game 2 win over Red Wings 04.20.14 at 5:50 pm ET
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Justin Florek

Justin Florek

The Bruins evened their first-round series with the Red Wings at one game apiece with a 4-1 Game 2 victory over the Red Wings Sunday at TD Garden.

After Detroit had shut out Boston in Game 1, the B’s got a pair of power play goals and scored two more at even strength. For the second straight game, Rask held the Red Wings to one goal.

Justin Florek scored the Bruins’ first goal of the series thanks to a miscue from Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard. With the puck at about the left faceoff dot, Howard skated out and tried to send the puck up, but instead he put it off Brendan Smith, resulting in a loose puck with the net vacant. Florek threw it straight at the net for his first career playoff goal.

Reilly Smith made it 2-0 with a power play goal that came as a result of some tropically good work in front from Loui Eriksson. With Eriksson in front, Patrice Bergeron put a shot towards the net and Smith raced through in front to send it in.

The second period saw the Red Wings find their legs, and they got some momentum back when Darren Helm went around Jarome Iginla and fired a shot that went off Luke Glendening and past Tuukka Rask. Milan Lucic made up for his line’s goal against, however, taking a pass from Torey Krug in the neutral zone and capping off a give-and-go with Iginla with a shot that went off Howard’s stick and in.

Boston got some insurance in the third when Zdeno Chara buried a rebound from an Iginla shot for a power-play goal. Both Iginla and Krug had a pair of assists on the day.

Kevan Miller returned to the lineup for Boston and made his postseason debut. Matt Bartkowski, Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille all missed the game.

The series will move to Detroit, where the B’s and Red Wings will play Games 3 and 4 at Joe Louis Arena.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Once again, the Bruins penalty kill was very strong, and it had to be Sunday. Boston had to kill off four penalties over the first two periods Sunday and held the Red Wings to just one shot on goal. That followed Friday’s effort in which the B’s held Detroit to no goals and one shot on goal on two penalty kills.

- Eriksson and Chara are both great in front of the net, but for much different reasons, and the B’s got power play goals as a result of both. Eriksson doesn’t outmuscle too many guys, but he is excellent at angling his body and providing a screen. That’s just what happened when Bergeron threw the puck on net.

Chara is obviously more tough to stop, and as such he picked up the rebound of an Iginla shot and put it past Howard.

- Reilly Smith doesn’t show much emotion too often, so you could tell his first-period goal was a long time coming for him. The goal was just his third since Jan. 28. Perhaps with more confidence will come more goals.

- The Bruins needed to battle through some of the interference that the Red Wings may have been getting away with in Game 1, and they did just that when Carl Soderberg drew a penalty on Jakub Kindl about halfway through the first period.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins weren’t just fortunate to get out of the third period with a two-goal lead; they were fortunate to have a lead at all at that point. Lucic’s goal followed a really rough stretch for the B’s after Detroit had gotten on the board, with the Wings swarming to the puck (Dougie Hamilton had to take a so-so tripping penalty shortly beforehand to prevent a Pavel Datsyuk bid as he came out of the corner with the puck) and Boston not generating much offense. It looked like the B’s would enter the second intermission hanging on by a thread, but Lucic’s goal — which was Boston’s first shot on goal in five minutes — changed that.

- Speaking of Lucic’s goal, it brought Krejci’s line back to even after it was scored on by a bottom-six Frankenstein line of Helm, Glendening and Drew Miller. Not scoring against Riley Sheahan’s line (as was the case Friday night) is one thing, but a first line getting scored on by bottom-six players is another. Lucic’s goal came against the same trio that had scored on the Glendening goal.

- While it was hilarious to see Zdeno Chara humor Brendan Smith as the Red Wings defenseman tried to fight him at the end of the first period, it gave Detroit a chance to get the last laugh when both players were assessed roughing minors. Smith is a very important piece for the Red Wings, but they would gladly lose him for two minutes if it meant getting two minutes without having to play against Chara. It didn’t end up costing the B’s, as neither team scored during the 4-on-4.

Matt Bartkowski out, Kevan Miller returns for Bruins in Game 2 vs. Red Wings 04.20.14 at 2:00 pm ET
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Matt Bartkowski will remain out for the Bruins as they face the Red Wings in Game 2 of the first round Sunday afternoon. Kevan Miller, who also missed Game 1 with what is believed to be a stomach flu, is back in the lineup.

With Bartkowski out, Andrej Meszaros will play again. Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly are both out. Paille skated prior to Saturday’s practice but has not played or practiced with the team since last Saturday. Kelly has yet to skate since suffering a back injury late in the regular season.

With Paille and Kelly still out, the forward lines are as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Caron – Campbell – Thornton

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Kevan Miller, Matt Bartkowski,
What Bruins need to do to win Game 2 vs. Red Wings 04.20.14 at 8:18 am ET
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The Bruins will look to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole to begin the first round when they face the Red Wings Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.

Coming off a 1-0 loss in Game 1, they might be getting healthier, as Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller practiced Saturday after missing Friday’s game. If both players can return to the lineup, they will replace Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter, respectively.

Yet even if they don’t play and Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly remain out as expected, the B’s should still be able to handle the eighth-seeded Red Wings. Jimmy Howard was strong for the Red Wings in earning a 25-save shutout, but if the Bruins can possess the puck more and generate more offense, they can make things way harder on him Sunday than they did Friday.

Here’s what they should look to do to take Game 2:

Krejci line needs to take advantage of matchups

If Patrice Bergeron‘s line is relatively quiet this series, it would be understandable given that they are matchup up against Pavel Datsyuk‘s line. That should mean better opportunities for the Milan LucicDavid Krejci - Jarome Iginla line playing against Detroit’s second line of rookie Riley Sheahan between Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist.

While the Sheahan line didn’t generate much offense against the B’s either (see below), that line should be one that Krejci and friends can exploit, but they didn’t get a Grade A chance until late in the game on Milan Lucic‘s redirect of a Jarome Iginla pass.

That Krejci line even saw a couple shifts against Luke Glendening’s line, which should also be a mismatch, and couldn’t take advantage. Krejci is known as being one of the best playoff performers in the NHL, so you have to think that line won’t have many repeat performances of Game 1.

Turn in the same defensive performance

Before you get carried away with the fact that the B’s lost Game 1, keep in mind that they held Detroit to one goal. Offense was the problem, not defense.

Detroit had the puck more than Boston, but it wasn’t like they spent the entire game peppering Tuukka Rask.

In fact, the scoring chances seemed about even by the end of the game. On Saturday, Mike Babcock said his coaching staff had the scoring chances being in Game 1, with each team getting nine chances.

Though Tomas Tatar’s five shots on goal were the most of any player in the game, the Bruins were able to limit Daniel Alfredsson (zero shots on goal), Gustav Nyquist (one) and Tomas Jurco (one).

Furthermore, Boston was strong on the penalty kill. Detroit had two power plays in the game, generating one shot on goal in the first and none in the other one. In fact, a Loui Eriksson shorthanded shot was the only puck put on net by either teams as Boston killed off a Torey Krug holding penalty.

Get Carl Soderberg’s line going

The trio of Soderberg between Loui Eriksson and Justin Florek also looked like a line heading into this series that could take advantage of its matchups. Playing against fellow bottom six lines in Darren Helm’s trio and Luke Glendening’s line should be manageable, but the real money-maker there should be Detroit’s third pairing of Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff.

That third pairing looked like it could be trouble for Detroit playing against Soderberg and Eriksson in this series, but Soderberg’s line’s good chances didn’t start coming until midway through the third period following Boston’s only power play of the game.

Milan Lucic fined $5,000 for spear on Danny DeKeyser, says he’s still an honest player 04.19.14 at 1:59 pm ET
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Bruins forward Milan Lucic was fined $5,000 Saturday for spearing Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser in the groin in Detroit’s 1-0 Game 1 victory over the B’s.

Lucic skated up behind DeKeyser in the second period of the then-scoreless game, stuck his stick between DeKeyser’s legs and forcefully yanked it up, causing DeKeyser to fall to the ice in the pain (video). It was Lucic’s second spearing incident in the last month, as he did it on March 24 against Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin.

Prior to the news of the fine, Lucic said he didn’t know why he committed the cheap shot.

“Obviously, it was kind of a heat of the moment thing when you’re not thinking and you do something like that,” Lucic said Saturday. “I’ve been in the league for seven years now. I think I’ve only done that three times. I don’t know I did it, but like I said, it’s one of the heat-of-the-moment that unfortunately I did. I believe in playing within the rules. For me, I definitely won’t be headed down that rode again.”

Asked if the fact that he’s now done it twice in such a short period of time should earn him a reputation, Lucic said he still feels he’s an honest player.

“I never do that. I haven’t done that but unfortunately I’ve done it twice in the little bit here,” Lucic said. “I’m not going to make it a habit. I don’t know why I did it both times, but it’s not going to be a habit of mine. Like I said, I believe in playing between the rules the right way and that’s what I’ll continue to do moving forward.”

While Lucic’s action — and the fact that it’s become a habit — was really bad, it is true that such spears have happened over the years and may not have even gotten a second look years ago. Lucic said it’s happened to him before.

“It happens more times than not,” Lucic said. “But with how much video there is today, it’s a lot harder to get away with.”

While Penguins center Sidney Crosby told reporters there was “definite intent” on Lucic’s part, DeKeyser didn’t get too worked up over the incident.

“I mean, yeah, I’m fine,” DeKeyser said Saturday. “It just happens during the game. You deal with it.”

Added DeKeyser: “It’s playoff hockey and it’s going to be a little physical out there. Stuff like that will happen from time to time. Emotions kind of run high during the games and that’s what it is.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Danny DeKeyser, Milan Lucic,
Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller return to Bruins practice 04.19.14 at 1:49 pm ET
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Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller both practiced Saturday after missing Friday’s Game 1 loss against the Red Wings with what was believed to be the stomach flu.

Following the skate, Claude Julien offered little update on their potential status for Sunday’s Game 2. Prior to the practice, Daniel Paille skated with Adam McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg. All other players were accounted for at practice, with the lines looking like they did in Game 1:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Caron – Campbell – Thornton

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Kevan Miller, Matt Bartkowski,
Video: Milan Lucic gets away with dirty spear on Danny DeKeyser 04.19.14 at 1:34 am ET
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Milan Lucic has long been known to lose his cool, but he was never really considered an overly “dirty” player.

This season, however, Lucic has gone nuts when it has come to spearing opponents in sensitive areas. In the second period of Friday’s Game 1 loss to the Red Wings, Lucic stuck his stick between Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser‘s legs and forcefully yanked it up, whacking DeKeyser in an area that you’d think would be off-limits. Lucic didn’t talk after the game, but the video below should show that it seemed as intentional as intentional gets.

This isn’t the first between-the-legs spear from Lucic this season, as he did the same thing to Alexei Emelin back on March 24, though it seemed Lucic got him in the rear end. Lucic denied spearing him after the game, saying he was “just skating by.”

Lucic was suspended for a game in the 2009 postseason for a blow to the head of Maxim Lapierre in Game 2 of the first round against the Canadiens. It’s unclear what the fallout from Friday’s cheap shot will be, but it was a garbage act from Lucic. He’s one of the team’s best players and was the team’s highest-paid forward this season. Such actions as Friday’s should be beneath him.

Red Wings take Game 1 from Bruins on late Pavel Datsyuk goal 04.18.14 at 9:58 pm ET
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The Bruins were without their third and fourth line left wings and two bottom-four defensemen, but it was their best players who let up the game’s only goal as the Red Wings took Game 1 of the first round, 1-0.

With the game scoreless late, Pavel Datsyuk beat Tuukka Rask with 3:01 left to get the Red Wings on the board. The goal came with Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara on the ice, marking Detroit’s fourth such goal this season. Chara and Bergeron had only allowed one 5-on-5 goal together all last season before allowing three to the Red Wings this past regular season.

The Bruins played the game without four regulars in Daniel Paille (head), Chris Kelly (back), Matt Bartkowski (undisclosed) and Kevan Miller (undisclosed; both he and Bartkowski were suspected to have the flu earlier in the week). With those four out, Justin Florek, Jordan Caron, Andrej Meszaros and Corey all played.

Jimmy Howard picked up the shutout for the Red Wings, making 25 saves.

The teams will play Game 2 Sunday afternoon (3 p.m.) at TD Garden.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Patrice Bergeron‘s line, playing mostly against Detroit’s top line of Franzen – Datsyuk – Abdelkader and second pairing of Quincey – DeKeyser, had just two shots on goal through the first two periods. Both sides seemed OK with having the Bergeron and Datsyuk lines matched up against one another.

- The matchup that the Bruins need to exploit in this series is Boston’s bottom-six forwards against Detroit’s third pairing of Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff. They got some chances (Jordan Caron nearly had a goal in front in the second period) and Carl Soderberg’s line came on strong against them, but the B’s were unable to cash in. Keep an eye on those matchups going forward in the series.

- Not sure what Tuukka Rask was thinking when he came way out of his net to play a puck high in the zone in the third period. Florek and Potter were already giving chase to the puck, but Rask got to it and turned it over, leaving Potter to race to the net and make a save on Darren Helm’s shot.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Potter was more than serviceable as he played in place of Miller Friday night. Though he was the Bruins’ eighth defenseman at the end of the season, Potter got regular minutes on the third pairing with Torey Krug as they played mostly against Luke Glendening’s line.

- Boston’s penalty kill was strong in holding Detroit 0-for-2. The Bruins faced a major challenge when Zdeno Chara threw Brendan Smith into the boards at 16:08 of the first period and was assessed a boarding minor. With Chara in the box and the B’s already missing two regular blueliners, Johnny Boychuk killed the entire penalty, with Meszaros and Potter taking turns as his partner. Up front, the Bruins used Patrice Bergeron with Brad Marchand, David Krejci with Loui Eriksson and Gregory Campbell with Justin Florek. The group stayed the course, limiting Detroit to just a Johan Franzen shot on goal.

In the second period, Torey Krug went off for a hold on Johan Franzen, with Eriksson having the only shot on goal during the Red Wings power play. Potter and Florek also played during that penalty kill.

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