Red Wings steal Game 1 from Bruins, 1-0

Red Wings steal Game 1 from Bruins, 1-0
April 18, 2014, 10:00 pm
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(AP Photo)

BOSTON - What almost was for the Bruins, was for the Red Wings.

Boston's near goal - a Jarome Iginla wrist shot tipped in front of the net by a streaking Milan Lucic - was saved by Wings goalie Jimmy Howard.

On the ensuing rush down the ice, Pavel Datsyuk made the B's pay. Taking the loose puck from Darren Helm, Datsyuk put a move on both Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton and beat Tuukka Rask, who was screened on the play, at 16:59 in the third period.

That was the only goal of Game 1, as the Wings beat the B's in Boston, 1-0.

The Bruins were undermanned from the start in this one.

Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller, Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille were all scratched from the game, causing the B's to start Corey Potter, Andrej Meszaros, Justin Florek, and Jordan Caron,

Still, Boston held it's own - but Detroit proved to be too much.

Zdeno Chara's boarding penalty at 16:08 provided the first major test for Boston. Not only were the B's already down Miller, Bartkowski, Kelly, and Paille - all contributors to the B's penalty kill unit, they were now missing Chara to boot.

But Boston killed it, allowing just one shot on net. Johnny Boychuk was on ice for entire kill. He, along with Potter and Meszaros stepped up at points defensively for Boston when they needed it.

Detroit outshot Boston 11-9 in the first period, but Boston edged them in attacking zone time, 8:44 to 8:20.

The shots-on-goal lead for Detroit didn't last for long in the 2nd period.

The Bruins came out sharp to start 2nd period, taking the games next three shots in the game, but Detroit regathered itself and slowly took over the period.

The Wings utilized their dangerous speed in the second period, and the B's found themselves playing catch up for much of the period.

They needed Rask, and they got him. He made 23 saves in this one, a couple of which were vintage Rask - but it was the one that he didn't save that proved to matter in the end.

Boston's first major scoring chance came about 11 minutes into the second period. Torey Krug ripped a snapshot from the blue line that was deflected right to Jordan Caron. The puck then deflected off Caron but just missed the net. Caron stuck with it, but couldn't get anything on the ensuing wraparound. B's closest chance so far in this one.

The B's killed another penalty when Krug went to the box at 15.58 to play in 2nd period for holding Johan Franzen. Again, the Wings didn't do much on the power play.

Boston came out stronger in the third period, and nearly scored in the opening minute when Reilly Smith poked the puck away from brother Brendan, creating a turnover and scoring chance for Brad Marchand.

Jimmy Howard, who was also superb in net for Detroit, turned that one away - as well as the other 24 from Boston.

This was a game that the score could sum up pretty easily. Back and forth, defensive, and what little opportunities were available were stopped by each goaltender.

Rask made two consecutive huge saves on Wings center Darren Helm in front of net in the third period, the second one being turned away with his pad.