GOLD STAR: Dougie Hamilton was wearing the Johnny Bucyk “Old Time Hockey” jacket following the Game 3 win in Detroit, and the young defenseman absolutely deserved it. Hamilton could have had a hat a trick given his offensive chances, but instead settled on the game’s first goal on a pretty impressive rush up the ice on the power play. He rang a shot off the far post earlier in the period, but shot right back by carrying the puck deep into the offensive zone, and firing a shot over the glove hand of Jimmy Howard. The Detroit goalie never even reacted to the shot, and the Bruins had all of the scoring they would need. Hamilton also finished with 16:03 of ice time in a shutout effort for the Black and Gold.
BLACK EYE: Mike Babcock and the Detroit bench. The Red Wings took both a too many men on the ice penalty that led to the game’s first goal in the first period, and then had a horrid line change that allowed Shawn Thornton to drive the lane for Boston’s second goal. Clearly part of it was a group of inexperienced players that weren’t ready to play a home playoff game in their building, but it’s also reflection on execution that should be automatic on a well-coached team. It’s very rare to a see a Babcock-coached team shooting itself in the foot.
TURNING POINT: The Red Wings began to put some pressure on the Bruins defense in the second period while firing 12 shots on net, and you could feel them starting to gather a little bit of confidence. But Tuukka Rask stopped every puck that he saw, and never faltered when the Red Wings managed to get something past the layers of B’s defenders. The 19 saves by Rask in the final two periods were pretty discouraging for a Detroit team that was looking for any chink in the armor to exploit.
HONORABLE MENTION: Patrice Bergeron was struggling through a stomach virus in the first two games of the series, but rose to the occasion with a pair of points and an empty net goal that cinched things in the third period. It was by far the most energetic performance against the Red Wings, and saw him win 14-of-25 face offs while going up against the best that Detroit had to offer. Bergeron finished with five generated shot attempts in his 18:28 of ice time, and played his best game of the series to date.
BY THE NUMBERS: 14-1 – the Bruins’ record in Game 3 under Claude Julien, a nod to the importance of the game for seizing control in a best-of-seven series.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “That’s why they’re on twitter and I’m in the NHL.” –Brad Marchand reacting to the large twitter crowd that thought he was faking an injury after the leg-to-leg collision with Brendan Smith.