Two power play goals, including a one-timer from Zdeno Chara and a rebound by Loui Eriksson, helped the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings and lifted Boston to a 4-1 series win, advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Bruins won four straight games in the series and will face their heated rival, the Montreal Canadiens, after the Habs swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first round series, 4-0.
With 13 penalties in the game, including seven on the Bruins, the opportunities were aplenty for both teams to steal a win Saturday at TD Garden. Officials called three penalties in five minutes of play toward the end of the second period, with both the Bruins and Red Wings able to capitalize.
Dougie Hamilton, who weaved his way up ice in the first period while showing off his versatility as an offensive minded defenseman, took a shot on Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson that was blocked, ricocheting off into the steady grasp of Loui Eriksson’s stick, who buried the power play goal to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. It was Hamilton’s third assist of the playoffs. Tuukka Rask also got an assist on the play. Scoring that first goal was crucial to the Bruins run.
"That's what we wanted, I think, to definitely get that goal and kind of deflate them a little bit," Hamilton said. "We were able to do that."
Less than 10 seconds into a high sticking penalty on the Bruins’ Milan Lucic and 14:27 into the second, Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk buried a rebound off a Henrik Zetterberg shot. It was Datsyuk’s third goal of the series, tying the game up 1-1.
Zetterberg and Daniel Alfredsson were credited with the assist on the goal.
Following a holding on the Red Wings’ Johan Franzen, a cross-checking on Detroit’s Brendan Smith, and an interference on the Bruins’ Loui Eriksson, the three straight penalties led to a 4-on-3 for the Bruins. It didn’t take long for Chara to get the one-timer, firing off a missile for the power play goal as the Bruins regained the lead, 2-1, with only 3.7 seconds left in the period.
"It was huge," Lucic said of Chara's goal. "You look at it, 14 seconds left and a four-on-three there, and you knew that if you can go into the second intermission there getting back up a goal it would definitely give you that momentum back and kind of that positive mindset back. And that one goal lead heading into the third period, which everyone, I think it lifted everyone on our team.
"So huge goal by the power play unit that was out there, finding that puck and [Patrice Bergeron] making that great play to [Chara], and Zee obviously using his lethal shot and getting it in the back of the net."
Only 4:27 into the third period, Torey Krug set up Lucic for his third goal of playoffs, almost an identical shot in front of the net as Lucic’s goal in Game 3 of the series.
Detroit's Zetterberg pumped in a rebound with 3:52 left to keep things interesting late. But an empty net goal by Jarome Iginla with 15 seconds left sealed the win.
The Bruins penalty kill was still stout (6 of 7) and the team’s power play remained steady (2 of 6 in the game, 6 of 16 in the playoffs). Rask, who allowed six goals in the series, stopped 31 shots.
"We'll take a breather here for a couple of days and then we'll see when it starts," Rask said. "But we'll enjoy this win today and then we'll move on."