Friday, November 25, 2011

Game Twenty One: It Ends Here

It is rare when we see an "Original Six" game between the Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings. It is even more rare when we see a game where the puck drops at 1:00pm. On Black Friday we have the pleasure of seeing both of these occurrences take place.

For those of you anticipating a game similar to what happened between the B's and the Buffalo Sabres, you were in the wrong arena for this one. The Red Wings play a very quick type of game that sometimes lacks physicality. Their style of play is not at all what we are used to seeing from teams around the NHL. However, they have a strong veteran presence that has shaped this team into one of the best squads in the league.

The Bruins played an aggressive opening period. The fore-checking pressure made it difficult for the Red Wings to enter the Bruins zone. They also had the better scoring chances which has been a recurring thing for Boston in the opening period of games. The B's fell behind when Valtteri Filppula received a good pass Henrik Zetterberg and slid the puck under Tuukka Rask. Boston finished the first period 0 for 2 on the power play.

The Bruins tied the game up early in the second period. Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard turned the puck over behind his own net to Nathan Horton. He fed the puck in front to Daniel Paille where he put it in the net. Detroit grabbed the lead back when Pavel Datsyuk scored his sixth goal of the season with a great move that beat Rask. Horton had some great chances to score but could not get the puck to bounce the right way for him.

After some great rushes by both teams to begin the third period, Patrice Bergeron tied the game up at two after he forced a turnover and blasted the puck past Howard. Prior to that play, the line of Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Tyler Seguin had not been as explosive as we have seen in previous games. The rest of the period consisted of Boston trying to contain Detroit and that forced Rask to make some good saves.

The score was level at two at the end of regulation. The Bruins had a great opportunity to win the game in overtime with only seconds left. Gregory Campbell won a face-off back to Zdeno Chara but he shot the puck slightly wide. The game was decided in a shootout.

Detroit beat Rask twice in the shootout. Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi had the goals for Detroit. Horton had the lone goal for the B's. The Red Wings defeated the Bruins by a score of 3-2, ending the win streak of the Bruins. The B's will be back in action Saturday night against the Winnipeg Jets.

Gold Star: Shawn Thornton...He had a great game in ways that most people will not think of. He knows his role on the team and being physical put his team in the best spot to win. Having some good scoring chances helps too.

Black Star: Johnny Boychuk...He was on the ice for both Detroit goals in regulation. You have to play a harder game when you play next to Zdeno Chara.

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