Photo Credit: Leon Halip/USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Red Wings came into their Valentine’s Day matinee with the Bruins looking for their ninth of a possible 10 points in their last five games. Based off of their first two meetings this season, you would expect a close checking, moderately high-scoring affair. Instead, the two teams decided that defence would be optional and a pond hockey game broke out.
The Red Wings caught a break pre-game when the Bruins announced that All-Star forward Patrice Bergeron would miss his second straight game. I wrote in the pre-game report that Detroit would need to keep a close eye on Brad Marchand, who came in with 12 goals in his previous 12 games…well, it took all of eight seconds for Marchand to make it 13 in 13.
The Red Wings answered with a Henrik Zetterberg tally that was reviewed for an offside, but upheld. However, just 14 seconds later, Zach Trotman blasted one past a screen Petr Mrazek. Did you think I was kidding when I said “pond hockey?” Three goals in under three minutes saw the Bruins up 2-1. Loui Eriksson and Pavel Datsyuk each scored before the end of the frame, sending us to the break down 3-2.
Early in the second period, Xavier Ouellet, who was making his season debut for an injured Jonathan Ericsson, faked a slapper and found Darren Helm, who bounced it in off of Trotman to tie things at three.
No more that three minutes later, the Red Wings’ drew a penalty and Datsyuk went to work again.
Believe it or not, the goals kept coming. After getting buried by Zdeno Chara, Helm popped up, received a pass from Alexey Marchenko and snapped one past Tuukka Rask, ending the netminder’s day. Mrazek, who has been excellent all season long, let one get by him that he would like to have back just 22 second later and things went to the third with Detroit up 5-4.
The Red Wings had a power-play carry over to the third period, but it was the Bruins who cashed in shorthanded. Joonas Kemppainen snapped one past Mrazek and this bad boy was knotted up at fives. Fear not, 7:37 into the period, the Euro Twins kept things rolling when Henrik Zetterberg tipped a Danny DeKeyser shot home and the Red Wings held on to win a wild one 6-5.
Gustav Nyquist briefly left today’s game with what was believed to be a knee injury, but he returned to the game and is expected to play on Monday. Datsyuk also left towards the end of the game with what appeared to be a wrist injury, but head coach Jeff Blashill believes he will also be able to play vs. the Islanders. With the victory, the Red Wings leap frogged the Bruins for second place in the Atlantic (29-18-9) just three points behind the Florida Panthers for first place.
WHY THE WINGS WON
That’s a lot of red dots. After a sluggish start, the Red Wings took over the second period and really never looked back. Much like the Colorado game, they outplayed the Bruins, but Rask’s Semyon Varlamov impression was weak. They also won because Datsyuk was electric all afternoon. He certainly didn’t look like a 37-year-old.
LIST OF NEGATIVE POSSESSION PLAYERS ON THE WINGS TONIGHT
SEE YOU NEXT TIME
The Red Wings don’t get a break after this marathon and get back in action less than 24 hours later. They must travel to Brooklyn to face the Islanders for the third time in three weeks.