Talking Points: Red Wings 1, Bruins 0

Talking Points: Red Wings 1, Bruins 0
April 19, 2014, 12:00 am
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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' Game 1 loss to the Red Wings:

GOLD STAR: Pavel Datsyuk was held quiet for long stretches of the game on Friday night through a steady diet of Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara, but that changed in the third period. The Red Wings center made a nice play in the neutral zone to gain possession, and then flummoxed Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton with his speed while moving East/West with the puck. He then fired through a host of moving bodies – a byproduct of Justin Abdelkader crashing into both B’s defenseman -- back at the far corner of the net and snapped home a goal that Tuukka Rask never got a good look at on its way to the net. Datsyuk finished with two shots on net, four generated shot attempts and 9-of-17 face offs wins for the Red Wings in 19:32 of ice time, and showed why he’s still one of the best players in the world.

BLACK EYE: Milan Lucic seemed to let the game’s frustration get the better of him at the end of the second period when he speared Danny DeKeyser in the groin while trailing the play. The refs never saw the action so there was no penalty called on the ice, but it was clear DeKeyser was understandably in a world of pain as he headed back to the Red Wings bench. The play was caught on replays by NBC, and was the second time in less than a month that Lucic committed the act after also spearing Alexei Emelin in the groin during a home game against the Montreal Canadiens. One has to wonder if there’s a fine and a conversation with the NHL Player Safety Department coming his way after his latest slash at an opponent’s brass bonanzas. No place for that in the game of hockey.

TURNING POINT: The biggest – and only – turning point of the game happened in the third period when Milan Lucic nearly redirected a Jarome Iginla shot through Jimmy Howard for the go-ahead goal. Instead Howard caught just the smallest piece of the puck, and caused it skid harmlessly away from the net. Immediately the Red Wings got the puck going in Boston’s direction, and Pavel Datsyuk scored the game-winning goal seconds later to give Detroit a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The Datsyuk goal arrived with only 3:01 remaining in the third period, and didn’t give Boston much time to mount a comeback that fell short.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jimmy Howard wasn’t tested early and often thanks to an excellent job from the Detroit defensive crew, but he did finish with 25 saves against the Bruins. He stifled a Carl Soderberg chance directly in front of the net on the Bruins power play in the third period, and then got just enough of a piece of Milan Lucic’s redirection to save the game for the Wings. Howard also left a fair share of rebounds around the front of the net during the game, but the Detroit defense did a good job of clearing pucks away from the front of the net. It’s difficult to forget that Howard probably gets a good feeling in this building after playing arguably the best hockey game of his life at TD Garden when he won a triple OT thriller against UMass in the 2004 Hockey East tournament.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – the number of times a Bruins player has faced off against their brother in a playoff series after Reilly Smith and Brendan Smith locked horns for the Bruins and Red Wings.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It was a pretty tight game on both sides, not too many scoring chances. They got that one at the end of the game. You know it happens. It is going to be a long series.” –David Krejci, taking the rather straightforward view of the Game 1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.