Bruins Fall Short in Game 1
Everyone knew Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals wouldn’t be easy for the Boston Bruins, and unfortunately, they couldn’t scrap their way past the Detroit Red Wings.
In the first period, one could tell that the Bruins and Red Wings wouldn’t let each other grab an easy goal. Both teams supplied incessant pressure of the forecheck and backcheck, a classic feature in the NHL playoffs. Zdeno Chara was penalized towards the end of the period for boarding, but the B’s killed of his mishap.
The ‘Wings held a 11-9 shot advantage when the first 20 minutes finished. Boston won a great deal of one-on-one battles due to their aggressiveness along the boards. Milan Lucic led the Bruins in that respect.
The second period showed the Red Wings standing firm in their offensive zone, maintaining possession for long spells and targeting a few chances on net, most notably Gustav Nyquist‘s attempt from the left faceoff circle that Riley Sheahan redirected. Rask held on for the save and froze the puck. The Bruins outshout the Red Wings 7-5.
Hair-raising action began to appear in the third period. Mere seconds passed before Brad Marchand grabbed hold of a poorly managed puck at the Red Wings’ blue line. He marched towards Howard on a breakaway, who ended up stuffing Marchand’s try with his pad.
About midway through the period, Darren Helm forced Rask into his best stop of the night, as the 27-year-old tried to bury his rebounded shot near the crease. The Bruins’ goaltender came up big, stretching acrobatically to make the save at his right side.
Minutes later, though, Rask almost relinquished the lead when he skated out of net to advance the puck forward quickly. But Corey Potter was present to thwart a weak Red Wings’ endeavor on goal.
As for the Bruins, Loui Eriksson had a great opportunity to score as a crowd of skaters battled in front of Howard. Jarome Iginla was so close to successfully connecting with Lucic crashing to the front of net. The Vancouver native tipped Iginla’s pass, and Howard barely got enough contact on the shot to dribble it wide of the post.
In the end, goalie performances were the focal points of this match. Howard tallied 25 saves, while Rask totaled 24 stops.
The Bruins will look to avenge this loss Sunday night at the TD Garden before going on the road to Detroit for Games 3 and 4.