Here are five thoughts from the third period after the Bruins lost to the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 at Joe Louis Arena:
1) The Bruins are 2-5-1 against the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens this season. That is quite the reason for concern when the B’s might have to play one, or both, of those teams as they work their way through the Atlantic Division portion of the postseason.
2) Andrej Meszaros having some real issues in this game for the first time with Bruins. Careless with the puck, lazy changes and he looked like he was standing still watching Darren Helm blow past him on a disinterested shift once the Wings went on the shorthanded attack. It was Meszaros and Johnny Boychuk changing that led to a late change, and Gustav Nyquist blowing past Zdeno Chara for the game-winning goal.
3) Patrice Bergeron taking some heavy hits lately as he absorbed some friendly fire from Dougie Hamilton Sunday in Philadelphia, and took a Drew Miller knee to the back of his leg tonight. Bergeron got up both times and finished things out, but the Bruins should probably think about resting him for a game or two before something unfortunate happens.
4) Red Wings giving the Bruins a lot of trouble with their speed in the third period: Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco were difficult to stop once they got going, and the Wings will only get more dangerous after getting Pavel Datsyuk and, possibly, Henrik Zetterberg back for the playoffs.
5) Tough night for Tuukka Rask, who didn’t see any shots until Detroit really started threatening in the second half of the third period. Detroit had 11 shots in the first two periods, and nearly matched that with the nine shots in the third period. The Nyquist snipe after wheeling around Chara would be a difficult stop for any goalie given how the play developed, but Jimmy Howard also clearly outplayed Rask at the other end of the ice.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Red Wings tied at 1:
1) Bruins missing some really good, golden chances to score and put themselves out in front of a Wings team they largely dominated through the first two periods. The B’s had a Torey Krug power play goal called back, but also saw Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly and Loui Eriksson miss on prime scoring chances around the net. Bruins outshooting Detroit by a 25-11 margin through the first two periods.
2) Jordan Caron had a nice aggressive play to get a shot on net toward the end of the second period, but also wiped out a mammoth third line shift pressure in the offensive zone by taking an offensive zone penalty for a shove to the back. I don’t know how anybody can feel good about Caron potentially stepping in if there’s a forward injury in the playoffs.
3) Three shots on net in 11:14 of ice time for Reilly Smith, who has been more aggressive and assertive getting to the front of the net for better scoring chances. It’s a big change for a player that had zero shots on net in four of his last seven games headed into Wednesday night.
4) Andrej Meszaros is getting some time on the power play, but looked like a disinterested, slow-moving statue on a play with Darren Helm blowing past him for a shorthanded chance in the second period. He showed little urgency getting back into the play as well, and that opened up another potential scoring chance for Detroit.
5) Jimmy Howard has 24 saves for the Wings through two periods, and has been excellent through the first 40 minutes. The B’s have also missed on a few chances to finish things off, but Howard has made all of the stops aside from the Johnny Boychuk rocket in the first period.
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Red Wings, 1-0:
1) Tough call for Torey Krug and the Bruins as ref Chris Rooney called Zdeno Chara for goalie interference in front of Jimmy Howard, and it wiped out a power play score for the Black and Gold. It was a bad call by Rooney, and something that should absolutely be video reviewable by the game officials. It isn’t at this point, but maybe it will be next year.
2) Fortunately for the Bruins Johnny Boychuk got the call back just minutes after the blown call wiped out Krug’s score. It was another point shot for a Bruins defenseman, this time during five-on-five play, with plenty of big bodies in front of the Detroit net. Two shots, four hits and the goal in 7:47 of ice time in the first period.
3) I’d expect the Jarome Iginla situation is much more about rest than its about any kind of lower body injury. Just a simple breather for a 36-year-old player with only a couple of weeks to go until the playoffs.
4) Bruins dominated the Red Wings by a 12-4 margin in the first period, and truly should be up at least 2-0, and perhaps 3-0 if Patrice Bergeron could have beaten Jimmy Howard with a five hole attempt on the breakaway.
5) The Bruins haven’t won at Joe Louis Arena since 2007, but they’re off to a pretty good start tonight.