The Boston Bruins are starting to fire on all cylinders.
The day after they won a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Boston Bruins finished their home-stand strong beating the Detroit Red Wings 5-3 handily. The Bruins would extend their winning streak to two games, dominating the Red Wings and extending their lead over the Florida Panthers to four points for the final wildcard spot in the East.
Physical play started early, with Reilly Smith spending 2 minutes in the box after being called for slashing, against Henrik Zetterberg. During that penalty, Brad Marchand would open up the scoring when he came in all alone on Jonas Gustavsson and deked him out to put the Bruins on the board first.
Gustav Nyquist would respond 3 minutes later, shooting a rocket that fooled Niklas Svedberg to tie the game at one. 40 second later, Danny DeKeyser would go to the box for hooking, sending the Bruins on the powerplay once again.
After being unsuccessful in the first power-play attempt, David Pastrnyk would put the Bruins back in the lead after going top shelf on Gustavsson shooting from the left face-off circle. He converted on a power-play attempt when Niklas Kronwall would go to the box for interference. The shot went off the pipe and into the net, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead coming into the end of the first period.
Loui Eriksson would take a turn in the penalty box, interfering with Kyle Quincy and sending the Bruins on the penalty kill in the second period.
The Bruins would run into more penalty trouble in the second period, as Milan Lucic would get called for holding on Gustavsson 2 minutes in, and Gregory Campbell would spend time in the box halfway through, putting the PK units back to work again. During this penalty, the Bruins would extend their lead, with Daniel Paille converting on a breakaway attempt and out-racing two Detriot defenders to put it past Gustavsson. Not even six minutes later, Paille would score his second tally of the night and fourth goal in six games, fed beautifully from newly-acquired Max Talbot who finds Paille in the slot to bank it in.
Drew Miller would go to the box 12 minutes into the second for tripping Patrice Bergeron.
That would be it for Jonas Gustavsson, as Jimmy Howard would replace him coming into the third period.
Detroit would rally back in the third period, when Luke Glendening cut the Bruins lead in half by beating Svedberg through the five-hole early in the third period. The Bruins would respond with a powerplay goal of their own, when Eriksson's wrist shot beat Howard to give the Bruins a commanding 5-2 lead midway through the third, ending Joakim Andersson's time in the box, after taking a hi-sticking call.
The Red Wings would add one more goal, with Marek Zidlicky capitalizing on a Carl Soderberg penalty call, but it would not be enough, as they fell to the Bruins 5-3. Riley Sheahan would also take a hooking call against Chris Kelly with 5 minutes remaining in the third period, hindering the Red Wings chances at making a comeback.
Special teams was a huge factor this game, with the Bruins special teams units killing 4/5 on the PK while scoring two goals on the power-play out of five attempts. Svedberg would make 36 saves between the pipes, out-dueling both Detroit goaltenders to pick up his seventh win of the season, ending the day with a .923 save percentage.
With the loss, the Red Wings continue to struggle, extending their own losing streak to two games. Brian Ferlin was a healthy scratch for the Bruins.
The Bruins will be back at it Tuesday Mar. 10 when they visit Ottawa to face Andrew Hammond and the Senators. Puck drops at 7:30pm EST.