Pre-Game Skate: The Wings and Bruins play for the second time in 3 days here this afternoon. It's a 12:30pm start and as a result, we are all out of synch. The pre-game meal in the press room was eggs. What's up with that? We'll try our best to adjust and to get it together. It's just a hockey game, after all. The Wings drubbed the Bruins Friday night at whatever it is they are calling the Boston Gardens these days, 6-1. Detroit, however, is just 5-5 in their last 10 games. They are undefeated against the Northeast Division this year (3-0-0) but, oddly, are winless (0-3-1) against the rest of the Eastern Conference. Detroit is 2nd in the Western Conference with 72 points, the Bruins are 3rd in the East with 69.
Oh, this is interesting. The Wings and Bruins have combined to score 3,467 goals against one another in 578 all-time meetings to date. The goal differential between these teams is 11. Detroit has scored 1,739 goals, Boston 1,728. See what you can glean by merely taking the time to read the game notes they give you, for free?
12:41pm: We have a goal, early too. It goes to Boston at 1:29. Blake Wheeler had it behind the net, was stopped by Jimmy Howard on a wraparound, but backhanded his rebound into the net. It is his 11th goal of the season, and it puts Detroit in a bad spot. Boston has failed to get a point only twice in the 36 games this season in which they have held the lead at any point: 30-2-4 (.889). FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 0, BOSTON 1.
12:49pm: And we're tied--thanks to perhaps the ugliest giveaway I've ever seen given away at the National Hockey League level. Boston's Brad Marchand, a center, was last man back for the Bruins and from the left of netminder Tim Thomas, Marchand backhanded a weak, pass right out in front of his own net. A blind pass. Todd Bertuzzi was right there to say thank you very much and score the unassisted goal off a nice deke of Thomas at 6:09. Bertuzzi had two goals against the Bruins Friday night (the second accounting for his 700th career NHL point) and the easy one he is gifted here gives him 11 goals for the season. FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 1, BOSTON 1.
1:02pm: Brad Marchand giveth and Brad Marchand taketh. Martchand, a few minutes after his terrible turnover, redirected a centering pass from Michael Ryder between Howard's legs to put the Bruins back on top at 12:17. It was a power play goal, and it was way too easy. Ruslan Salei let Marchand get open out in front of the Detroit net and the pass from the right wing halfwall from Ryder was right on the tape and in. Goal #16 for Marchand who does not get a plus on the play to cancel out the minus he got on the Bertuzzi goal because, as we say, it was a Boston power play goal. FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 1, BOSTON 2.
1:15pm: The first period ends with Boston still up a goal. Boston is a remarkable 19-1-1 (.929) when leading after one. Detroit is 6-13-3 (.341) when trailing after 1. We'd be tied in this one but the Wings had an apparent goal waved off when Boston was ahead 1-0. Thomas appeared to have the puck covered in the crease (the referee thought so and blew the whistle) but one of the Wings--it might have been Holmstrom but don't quote me--dug it free and fired it in. The whistle preceded the puck's crossing of the goal line by a millisecond or so, negating the goal. The play was not reviewable. END OF THE FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 1, BOSTON 2.
1:30pm: There's been a change on Boston's first goal. It goes to the former Plymouth Whaler who was selected #2 overall in the NHL draft last June, Tyler Seguin. It appeared on the replay that Seguin and Blake Wheeler, originally credited with the goal, had a sort of dual possession as the puck was shot. Each appeared to have the blade of his stick in contact with the puck. Super slo-mo gives the goal to Seguin instead of Wheeler. Seguin wears #19 and he just turned 19 a couple of weeks ago on the last day of January. On to the second period...
1:40pm: Tied. Pavel Datsyuk, alone just to the right of Thomas, dumped the rebound of a shot fired from the right point by Brian Rafalski into the Boston net. This is Datsyuk's 4th game back after missing a month and a half due to a broken wrist and it is his 2nd goal and 5th point in those 3 game plus the first 24 minutes of this one. Overall, it is goal #14 for Datsyuk and it comes at the 3:54 mark of the 2nd. SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 2, BOSTON 2.
1:55pm: The Wings have taken the lead 3-2 at 12:44 on Kris Draper's 6th goal of the season. He got in behind the defense and took a pass from Patrick Eaves that sent him in alone. Draper went high to give Detroit their first lead of the afternoon. It took the Wings five seconds to move the puck from deep in their own zone all the way into the Boston net. Niklas Lidstrom made a stretch pass to Darren Helm who found Eaves who found Draper who found the net. 180 feet in five seconds and a Detroit lead. SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 3, BOSTON 2.
2:10pm: We've spent a lot of time this blog talking about Boston's record in various situations, but now the statistics auger in favor of the Red Wings. The second period is over with Detroit leading, and when Detroit leads after two this season, Detroit is 19-0-2 (.952). In other words, the Wings have never failed to record a point in 2010-11 when leading after two periods. END OF THE SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 3, BOSTON 2.
2:40pm: We are midway through the 3rd period, 9:54 left, and there is no change in the score. The Wings just had a power play and as a result of not scoring, are 0-3 on the pp today. Boston, pressing for the tying goal, was very aggressive on the kill looking for the equalizer. THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 3, BOSTON 2.
2:47pm: For the second game in a row, Todd Berteuzzi has scored two goals and the Wings are looking good here with under 6 minutes to play. Johan Franzen waited and waited and waited as he and Bertuzzi were in on a 2-on-1 and when Franzen finally slid the pass across, Bertuzzi finished perfectly. He now has a dozen goals this season and, as we say, four in his last 2 games now. The Wings have put 4 past Thomas this afternoon. He entered today's game leading the league in goals-against average and save percentage. THIRD PEREIOD: DETROIT 4, BOSTON 2.
2:57pm: That's it. The Wings are now 20-0-2 when leading after two periods as they come from behind to defeat Boston 4-2. The Bruins led 2-1 after one, but the goals in the second period by Datsyuk and Draper gave the Wings the lead for good. Bertuzzi capped it with his goal in the 3rd. The Wings sweep the home-and-home series. FINAL SCORE: DETROIT 4, BOSTON 2.
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