Many people thought the Bruins couldn’t have gotten a worse first round matchup than the Detroit Red Wings. It was expected that much like they did in the regular season, the Red Wings speed and skillset would be enough to give the Bruins fits. That surely was not the case.
After a heart breaking loss in Game 1, the Bruins fired off four straight victories to send the Red Wings home packing in five games. The Bruins now find themselves with a second round date with their longtime rival, Montreal Canadiens.
Before we get to Montreal, let’s take a look back at the Bruins-Red Wings Atlantic Division Semifinal series. Next
Game 1: Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller out, Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter in
In the days leading to Game 1 of their Atlantic Division Semifinal series against the Red Wings, the flu bug was finding its way through the Bruins locker room. With defensemen Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller unable to suit up for Game 1 due to the bug, Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter got the call for the Bruins.
Potter (16:57) and Meszaros (19:40) both saw key minutes on the Bruins’ blue-line, both five-on-five and on the penalty kill. The two Bruins trade deadline additions were key factors in what was an absolute defensive battle between the two Atlantic Division rivals.
The contest was Potter’s first career National Hockey League playoff game.
“Yeah, it was super exciting,” Potter said of his first career playoff game. ”I was thinking about it all day, couldn’t sleep. It was exactly what I expected, high intensity and it was really close out there. Unfortunately we couldn’t get that win.” Next
Game 1: Milan Lucic spears Danny DeKeyser; fined $5,000
With rookie defensemen Danny DeKeyser skating away from the play at the end of the second period of Game 1, Milan Lucic came up from behind DeKeyser, spearing him between the legs with his stick. Lucic was not penalized on the play.
Lucic was fined $5,000 for his actions.
“I don’t want to say it was too much frustration. It was kind of a heat of the moment thing where you’re not thinking when you do something like that,” Lucic stated. “I’ve been in the years seven years now, and I think I’ve only done that three times. I don’t know why I did that.” Next
Game 1: Pavel Datsyuk propels Red Wings to Game 1 victory
He’s one of the most exciting players in the game, and he showed it in Game 1, scoring the lone goal of the game with just over three minutes to go in regulation. Pavel Datsyuk used his magic to pull the puck onto his stick, skate into the Bruins zone and rip his first goal of the series past Tuukka Rask.
The game was an absolute defensive battle until Datsyuk’s third period tally. With the way things were developing throughout the game, it looked like one goal would be enough to secure victory in Game 1. Unfortunately for the Bruins, the one goal came off of Datsyuk’s stick.
Datsyuk’s goal came just moments after Milan Lucic’s tip of a Jarome Iginla shot trickled just wide of the Red Wings net after goalie Jimmy Howard was able to get enough glove on it.
"It was pretty lucky, Lucic stuck his stick out and got a lot on it, and it just sort of spun (off) my glove and I was just able to get enough of it,” said Howard. Next
Game 2: Justin Florek starts Game 2 off with a bang
Heading into Game 2 trailing their best-of-seven series with the Red Wings 1-0, the Bruins knew they couldn’t drop the ball to give the Red Wings a 2-0 series lead, heading home for Game 3. Thanks to a fast start from rookie Justin Florek, the Bruins were able to avoid that.
Inserted into the lineup due to a Chris Kelly back injury, Florek scored his first career playoff goal and more importantly the Bruins first goal of the series.
With the puck trickling down the ice into the Red Wings zone, Howard got rather aggressive, coming out of his net to play the puck. Howard tried to clear the puck out of the zone, via the boards, but instead the puck took a favorable bounce for the Bruins and Florek was left with an open net and the puck on his stick.
“Ah you know, to play it, yeah I thought he was and I just tried to read him,” said Florek in regards to Howard coming out to play the puck. “It was a lucky bounce; think it hit the defenseman and right to my stick. So it was the right spot at the right time I guess.” Next
Game 2: Brendan Smith gets tough with Zdeno Chara
In Game 2 the Red Wings tried a different style of hockey, a style they’re not accustomed to as they tried to get physical with the Bruins. At the end of the second period of Game 2, Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith got in the face of Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara, a move that wasn’t too smart by the 6-foot-2 Smith.
Just like Bruins fans, Chara was amused by Smith’s act of courage, laughing at the older brother of Bruins’ forward Reilly Smith.
“He wouldn’t be the first guy I’d choose in the NHL to go against,” Reilly said of his brothers choice to go after Chara. “He should probably think twice next time.” Next
Game 2: Bruins tie series at one
The Bruins got goals from four different players, including power play tallies from Reilly Smith and Zdeno Chara to take down the Red Wings 4-1, tying their best-of-seven series with the Red Wings at one. Tuukka Rask made 25 saves for his first win of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Red Wings got away from their game in Game 2 and it cost them with two power play goals from the Bruins. The B’s were all over the Red Wings from start to finish. Their play in Game 2 was a sign of things to come.
"I thought that for sure we capitalized on our opportunities," Chara said, "and it makes a big difference in the game when you score on your power plays and you're able to kill the penalties."
The Bruins killed off all four Red Wings power plays in Game 2. Next
Game 3: Jordan Caron notches first career playoff goal
Since the Bruins used their first round selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft to select Jordan Caron, the forward hasn’t come anywhere close to meeting the expectations that come with being a first round draft pick.
Filling in for an injured Daniel Paille, Caron saw some time on the Bruins fourth line in the Bruins’ series against Detroit.
In the Bruins first two games against the Detroit Red Wings, Caron was solid. He was using his big body to win puck battles and it seemed like he had a bit of a fire under him to prove his worth.
In Game 3, Caron was able to do something with that fire, and do something in a big way. Caron used his speed and intelligence to score his first career playoff goal, extending the Bruins lead to two at the time and helping the Bruins take a 2-1 series lead over the Red Wings.
It was the perfect way for Caron to help people try and forget about his struggles in Boston.
“I think we went on the ice and I saw Thorty [Shawn Thornton] going wide and I looked left and there was no one, so I knew we had a two-on-one,” said Caron. “Thorty made a nice backhand toe drag to put it on net, so it was a nice shot by Thorty and the rebound came into the slot and I was just trying to get it in”
Game 3- Matt Bartkowski returns from flu
After missing Games 1 and 2 in Boston, Matt Bartkowski returned to the Bruins’ lineup for Game 3. Bartkowski logged 18:34 of ice time, registering two hits. Bartkowski was back to his normal self, helping the Bruins blank the Red Wings 3-0.
Bartkowski remained in the lineup for Game 4 and 5, and just like in Game 3 was a solid contributor to the Bruins blue-line Next
Game 3: Rask shutouts Red Wings; Bruins take series lead
The Bruins came out in Game 3 and made a statement, letting the Red Wings know that the team from the “Motor City” had to be better if they wanted to have any shot in this series. Tuukka Rask stopped 23 easy shots for his fourth career playoff shutout and for the first time in the series, the Bruins had a series lead.
Much of Rask’s easy night was due to the Bruins sticking to their gameplan, clogging the shooting lanes and keeping the Wings’ shots to the outside. Any time a d-core is able to do that, a goalie’s life is an easy one.
“Yeah it’s really good team defense. I don’t think we’ve given them that many scoring chances,” said Rask. “Today [Game 3] I think they had four shots for a long time in the game. You know they had the power plays and had a couple of shots, they got the momentum there, but we’ve been limiting them to a few chances” Next
Game 4: Henrik Zetterberg returns for Red Wings
Before the series started, Red Wings Captain Henrik Zetterberg said he wouldn’t be ready until the second round, should his Wings make it that far. With the Red Wings looking to avoid falling into a 3-1 series hole, the “second round” came a bit early for Zetterberg and the Red Wings.
The Wings’ captain was inserted back into the lineup in Game 4, playing on the Wings’ top line, Zetterberg saw 19:34 of ice time in his first game since February.
Zetterberg’s return gave the Red Wings a boost, but not a big enough one as the Wings would end up dropping Game 4 in overtime. Next
Game 4: Howard misses Game 4, Gustavsson starts
As the Red Wings got one familiar face back into their lineup, they lost another. Goalie Jimmy Howard was a late scratch for Game 4 with the “flu.” Backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson got the start for the Red Wings and played very well. Gustavsson stopped 37 of 40 shots and certainly gave the Red Wings a chance to tie the series up at two.
“You always try to be ready and you have to prepare like you’re playing,” said Gustavsson. “especially in the playoffs, that’s (preparing to play) not hard to do, I was preparing like any other playoff game even before I got (the word).”
Little did anyone know that Game 3 would be the last we would see of Howard in the series. Next
Game 4: Lucic ties Game 4 with early third period goal
Thanks to a first period goal by NiklasKronwall and Pavel Datsyuk’s second goal of the series in the second period of Game 4, the Red Wings jumped out to a 2-0 lead on home ice. A goal by Torey Krug midway through the second set the stage for a highly entertaining third period.
Just 1:15 into the third, Milan Lucic burried home a pretty feed from Carl Soderberg to tie the game at two, and completely sway momentum in the Bruins favor. The goal by Lucic came at the perfect time as the Bruins carried play throughout the remainder of the period and into overtime where they would eventually find the game winner.
“You know, you want to get better as the series goes on and we were able to do that in the third period as a line,” stated Lucic. Next
Game 4: Jarome Iginla wins Game 4 in overtime
After Milan Lucic’s third period tally knotted things at two, the Bruins and Red Wings remained scoreless throughout the rest of the third period, sending the two Original Six rivals to overtime for the first time in the series.
Both teams had their chances to put the game away, but ultimately it was Jarome Iginla and the Bruins who were able to find the back of the net first.
Iginla was able to tip in a Dougie Hamilton point shot to give the Bruins their third straight win in the series and a chance to end things on Saturday in Boston.
“I think Looch was already in front of the net, battling with one of their guys,” Iginla said about his OT winner. “Dougie just shot it and I was trying to get a stick on it, just tip it, and it went right past Looch and their guy battling. So it was a fortunate goal, a fortunate bounce, an ugly one, but that seems like how a lot of those are in OT.” Next
Game 5: Loui Eriksson scores first goal of series; gives Bruins early Game 5 lead
Entering Game 5, the Bruins knew getting the last win would be the most difficult one to get. Thanks to Loui Eriksson’s first goal of the series, and first playoff goal since May of 2008, the Bruins got off to a fast start in Game 5.
Despite allowing the Red Wings to tie the game in the second period, the Bruins fed off of the momentum created from Eriksson’s tally, ultimately winning Game 5, 4-2 and moving on to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Experiencing playoff hockey for the first time since 2008, Eriksson is certainly enjoying playoff hockey in Boston.
“Yeah, it was definitely a nice feeling to score a goal and get the win for sure,” said Eriksson.
“I thought they did a good job, they are a tough team to play against but we managed it good and got the four wins. Now we’re going to play against Montreal and it is going to be good.” Next
Game 5: Chara and Lucic extend Bruins lead with timely goals
After Pavel Datsyuk tied Game 5 at one, in the middle of the second, the Bruins got two timely goals which proved to be enough to wrap up the series in Boston. Zdeno Chara’s power play goal with under a minute to go in the second, followed by Milan Lucic’s third of the series 4:27 into the third period were huge, killing any potential momentum Detroit got from Datsyuk’s goal.
“Yeah, the second one was huge,” said Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. “They tied the game up and then we were kind of down, but then got the momentum right back and three seconds left in the period, so it was huge and then we got that insurance from Looch, so great effort.” Next
Bruins win Game 5, eliminate Red Wings, set up second round date with Habs
Thanks to their 4-2 victory in Game 5, the Bruins sent the Wings home for the summer a bit earlier than many were predicting. The Bruins used timely goal scoring, tremendous defense and solid special teams’ play to earn themselves the series victory.
The Bruins will yet again find themselves squared up against a familiar opponent in round two as they will take on the Montreal Canadiens in the second round with a Eastern Conference Finals berth on the line.
The Canadiens punched their ticket into the second round after sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning in four games.
“It will definitely be fun. It is going to be tough, they are a good team and they won all their four games there,” said forward Loui Eriksson. “So I just hope to get some rest here and try to after we can start focusing on that but it is definitely going to be a tough challenge.” Back to the beginning
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