The Bruins snapped a three game losing streak with a shootout win Wednesday night in Detroit. Despite outshooting the Red Wings 39-20 in the game – including 14-4 in the first period alone – the Bruins struggled to finish many good opportunities in regulation and in overtime. Both regulation goal scorers for the Bruins came through in the shootout. In David Krejci’s second game back from injury he opened the scoring 5:12 into the first period on a breakaway. Chris Kelly sprung Krejci on the breakaway with an excellent pass from the defensive zone.
The lead was short-lived as Tomas Tatar scored his first goal of the season at 8:40 of the first period.
The Bruins got the first power play of the game when Niklas Kronwall got called for interference, but the Bruins were unable to convert on the power play all night despite prolonged offensive zone time and several good scoring chances. The Bruins went 0-for-3 on the night while the Red Wings were 1-for-5 on the power play. Jimmy Howard’s excellent goaltending was part of the Bruins failure to regain the lead.
Daniel Paille took the Bruins first penalty on a questionable roughing penalty. Paille undoubtedly deserved a penalty, but the original hit from Luke Glendening as well as the punch to the head delivered from Brendan Smith surprisingly went unnoticed by the referees.
In the second period, the Bruins had the only goal while both goaltenders continued to display excellence. Tuukka Rask made a great stop on Luke Glendening after Krejci turned the puck over inside the offensive zone.
The defense helped out as well, with Dennis Seidenberg blocking shots at important junctures.
Before the Bruins were able to get that goal in the second period, they were frustrated again by Howard when he made a save on Brad Marchand on a two-on-one with Patrice Bergeron.
Reilly Smith scored his second goal of the season and put the Bruins up 2-1 in the second period at the 13:31 mark. The assists went to Bergeron and Marchand.
Late in the second period, Lucic took a tripping penalty against Danny DeKeyser, and potential trouble followed on the penalty kill.
While killing the penalty, Bergeron blocked a slap shot with the inside of his skate and immediately appeared to be in immense pain. He was able to skate to the bench on both feet, but went right ot the locker room and did not return for the remainder of the period.
Thankfully, Bergeron was on the ice when the third period started, and Bruins fans everywhere were able to breathe again. The third period unfortunately got off to a poor start when Adam McQuaid took an interference penalty.
Tuukka Rask made this save on a 2-on-1, but he was unable to keep the Bruins in the lead much longer.
Gustav Nyquist scored the game-tying goal on the power play with McQuaid in the box at 2:56 of the third period.
The Bruins were awarded two straight penalties in the third period, including one against Nyquist for holding, but were still unable to beat Howard with the man advantage.
Daniel Paille hit the post for the second time this season, seemingly in the same exact spot as the previous one.
Carl Soderberg delivered this strong check to Jakub Kindl late in the third period, but no penalty was assessed on the play. Kindl appeared very shaken up, skated off on his own power, and went straight to the quiet room.
In the final minutes of regulation, the Bruins had a handful of incredible scoring chances that were – again – stopped by Howard, sending the game to overtime.
Howard made several more brilliant saves in overtime, such as this one on Simon Gagne. Gagne, making his debut with the Bruins after earning himself an NHL contract with the Bruins just earlier this week, was robbed by Howard’s glove more than once in the game. However, Gagne looked good once he was moved up to the first line with Lucic and Krejci in place of Seth Griffith.
With under a minute in overtime, Bergeron was given a hooking penalty on what appeared to be equal parts penalty by Bergeron and equal parts dive by Darren Helm. Helm was not given an embellishment penalty, and the final 40 seconds of overtime had several close calls for the Bruins with the Red Wings on the power play.
The game went to a shootout after five minutes of exciting overtime was not able to produce a goal. The Red Wings sent out Andrej Nestrasil first, and he was stopped by a Tuukka Rask poke-check.
Krejci shot first for the Bruins, and he beat Howard on a similar move to the one that earned him the first goal way back in the first period.
Nyquist, who is normally a serious danger from anywhere on the ice and especially on the shootout, failed to score on his attempt.
Reilly Smith was the second shooter for Boston and could win the game with a goal. He did not disappoint, beating Howard with a nifty move.
The Bruins bench reacted gleefully, and Bruins fans everywhere finally remembered what it feels like to win.