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Just 24 hours ago
(minus one hour in the middle of the night somewhere) Boston rode a 2nd period surge to come from behind and win 3-2. Today, it looked like they may use the third to fully erase a 4 goal deficit, a comeback that started with one tally in the 2nd and two in the first 6.5 mins of the third. However, Detroit held on.
Yesterday, Detroit carried the shot clock in 2 of 3 periods. Today, only in the first where they outshot a slow starting Bruins club 8-4. The Wings were outshot 18-11 in the second period but outscored Boston 3-1 in the middle frame. That 4th goal, a strange double pipe bounce with a turn around shot from Erne to make it good, was the difference maker. The empty net tally with 24 seconds left just let fans breathe a bit easier. Larkin had a 3 point game (1G 2A), Seider had 1 and 1, and Raymond had 2 assists. Chiasson had his 2nd power play goal in as many games, and 4th point in 5 games played since returning to the NHL from a season spent in the minors on March 3rd. It’s hard to imagine the gratitude and excitement the past few games have held. A bit like Cleary making the last cup club out of training camp (though obviously quite different circumstances) you can see players realizing how special this career really is and how quickly it goes by.
If I were wearing a B on my sweater or hat, I’d be feeling that either inferior goaltending or very good special teams had robbed the better full game effort. Neither team played 60 minutes in either contest, today was just Detroit’s day. It’s clear that Boston has a high level of expectation and (as some Detroit fans remember) the regular season can’t end soon enough. For the Red Wings, it is about opportunity and trying to establish something to build on. Unlike the previous regime, there have been surprising amounts of turnover and surprising roster changes. As I saw that Mantha scored his 10th yesterday, I was reminded of how odd the Vrana departure really feels. This season never took the shape it was meant to have, and as much as anyone hears or feels they know (myself included) it feels like a lost opportunity. Seeing Bertuzzi in his bear inspired gear was odd. The opportunity ahead of the winger is one his close friend and former captain no doubt envies (though supportively).
It’s good to win. It’s good to hear home ice in Detroit filled with the sound of cheers. It’s even good to have uncertainty as to what type of iteration next year’s squad will take on. What is the future identity for Yzerman’s continually morphing design? Will Chiasson have a PTO in hand in September? Will a prodigal return? Only time will tell, and there’s still some hockey to be played before the exit interviews.
First Period Detroit goals:
Chiasson scored his second goal of the season just a day after he scored his first. Same period, same situation, on the power play. The Bruins were covering Perron closely and that left some room on the right side of the ice. Larkin was once again in Phil Esposito’s old office and Raymond was on the right side (lot of right shot players) with Chiasson net front. Larkin ripped a shot off a pass from Raymond that bounced/rolled toward Chiasson who was tied up at the left post. He someone pushed through the defenseman’s stick and knocked the puck over the goal line. Good crisp movement from the group and Chiasson seems to have grabbed a temporary spot. 1-0 DET *4 points in 5 games after signing 3/3. A player very grateful for another shot
Shots: 8-4 DET
Score: 1-0 DET
Back to back games, back to back short handed goals. At 6:34, this time, Seider took a puck intended for Pastrnak as it crossed the blue line and skated all the way down ice scoring on a top shelf backhand. Unassisted. 2-0 DET
Larkin continues to rack up power play points, and found his 25th goal of the season at 10:39 in the second. A pass from Seider to Raymond saw the 2nd year winger find his Captain with time and space in between the lower face off dots, toward the top of the circles. Larkin ripped a shot similar to his assist in the first but this time it found the back of the net. Last year’s righty rookies making good plays for the assists. 3-0 DET
At 15:08, Erne scored his 8th of the season and Detroit’s 3rd of the period. Berggren rang the left corner pipe and the right side post after taking a pass from Oesterle. Erne was skating backward toward the net, saw the puck land, turned and tapped
Boston gets on the board just under 2 minutes later. 4-1 DET
Shots: 22-19 BOS (Bruins outshot Wings 18-11)
Score: 4-1 DET
Bruins score at 3:37. 4-2
Bruins score again at 6:24. 4-3
With 24 seconds left, Copp scored an empty net tally to seal the win after a 4 goal lead dwindled to a 1 goal lead. Boston looked like they could turn the tide again, with around 13 mins of having just one goal stand between the two after Detroit had run up the score (but not the shot clock) in the second. Copp got a quick return pass from Suter that was almost a turnover and shot the puck from behind Center ice and in.
Final Shots: 33-26 BOS (Bruins outshot Wings 11-7)
Final Score: 5-3 DET