Jarome Iginla couldn't have picked a better time to score his first playoff goal as a Bruin.
|The Black and Gold celebrate their Game 4 victory (via ESPN.com)|
Torey Krug and Milan Lucic scored the other two goals for the Bruins.
Tuukka Rask made 35 saves to backstop the Bruins to the win.
The Bruins can close out the series with a win in Game 5 on Saturday at the Garden. Puck drops just after 3:00 pm.
The Red Wings came out flying from the drop of the puck and controlled the play through almost the entire 20 minutes in a total reverse of Game 3. Wings coach Mike Babcock had his team ready to play, and after tearing them a new one by calling out their subpar effort on Tuesday, his players were all ears and ready to go.
The Wings rattled off five shots on Tuukka Rask in the first few minutes of the game, but the Bruins weathered the storm and even managed to get a couple of scoring chances on counterattacks, with the most notable one coming from Reilly Smith as he broke free on a breakaway and beat Jonas Gustavsson under his pads, but the puck clanked off the outside of the post.
|Smith beats Gustavsson put hits the post (via ESPN.com)|
The first break of the game went against the Bruins, as Justin Florek clipped Drew Miller on a high-stick and drew blood, and just four seconds into the double-minor it was Niklas Kronwall who fired home the first goal of the game and Detroit's first power-play goal of the series.
Directly off the face-off win from Pavel Datsyuk, Kronwall skated across the zone to his left and got into position before unleashing a 100+ mph slapshot that beat Tuukka Rask above the shoulder. Todd Bertuzzi, playing in his first game of the series, had an immediate impact, as it was his huge frame that screened Rask on the shot.
Brad Marchand added to the Bruins' missed opportunities in the first period when he missed the open net after receiving a Kevan Miller slap-pass off to the side of the net. As we'll see later on, it was not Marchand's worst miss of the night.
The Bruins did find their feet for a minute or two towards the end of the period, as the second-line of Patrice Bergeron, Reilly Smith and Brad Marchand worked the best cycle-game the Bruins had managed up to that point. Smith drew a tripping penalty by Brendan Smith out of it, but the Bruins couldn't cash in on the man-advantage.
The second period saw more missed chances go by the boards for the Bruins, as Loui Eriksson whiffed on a pass from Carl Soderberg in close, and another when Greg Campbell found himself alone in front of the net off a feed from Kevan Miller but couldn't beat Gustavsson.
A few shifts after Campbell's shot was saved, it was Pavel Datsyuk who doubled the lead for the Wings at 4:27 of the period. After the Bruins failed to clear the puck out of their own zone and lost track of their positions, Datsyuk was able to smash home a loose puck just outside the crease with Zdeno Chara behind the net and Matt Bartkowski down on the ice, the Russian centerman made no mistake of firing home into the open net.
The Bruins finally got on the board courtesy of Torey Krug on the powerplay at 10:14. After a 4-on-4 sequence left the Bruins with just six seconds on the man-advantage, it was Patrice Bergeron who won the face-off clean back to Krug, who then skated into position and unleashed his shot. The puck took a deflection of a stick and beat Gustavsson high to cut the Wings' lead in half.
|Krug blasts home the Bruins' fist goal of the night (via ESPN.com)|
The Bruins came out for the third ready to play, and it was Milan Lucic who got Boston level at 1:15 of the period. All the credit goes to Carl Soderberg for making the play happen, as he drove the net and flipped, with one hand on his stick, the puck over to the waiting Lucic who calmly put it home past Gustavsson.
I mentioned the missed chances before. Brad Marchand had a wide-open net to shoot at off a slick feed from Torey Krug and he ripped the puck past the far post. It was a rather awful miss from Marchand and the final confirmation that he just didn't have his A-game tonight.
The two teams battled to a stalemate through the rest of the third period, and for the first time in the series, we saw some good ol' fashioned overtime hockey.
Right out of the gate, Bruins fans probably thought the game was over when Justin Abdelkader had a breakaway on Tuukka Rask just a minute into the extra period, but Rask stoned him with the right pad and kept the Bruins alive.
Boston controlled much of the play in the overtime period, outshooting the Wings 8-1 just prior to the halfway mark of the period when the ice crew hops on to sweep the ice.
They had 12 shots in total in the period compared to just three for Detroit, so if the Bruins let this one slip away it would've been a major disappointment.
But at 13:32 into overtime, it was Jarome Iginla who sent the Bruins back home to Boston with a 3-1 series lead, tipping home Dougie Hamilton's shot from the boards that beat Gustavsson at the far post.
|The Bruins mob Iginla after his game-winner.|
Going back home up 3-1 is worlds better than being 2-2. After falling down by two goals on the road in a hostile environment, the Bruins showed the heart and fight that defines a championship team.
They can now close out the series on Saturday in Boston.
Like I said, much better than being tied 2-2.