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Redemption Waits ‘Til Next Year

Posted By Matt Preston On Feb 13 2011 @ 5:36 pm In Boston Bruins | No Comments

It was redemption the Boston Bruins sought on Sunday afternoon and a chance to prove themselves against one of the NHL’s elite as they went to Detroit to take on the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Just two days earlier, the West’s Central Division leading Red Wings embarrassed the Bruins, dealing the Black-and-Gold their most disappointing lose of the season, 6-1 [1], on home ice.

The second game against the Wings looked as though it might go the Bruins way from the onset, as they put in a far better effort this time around and took an early lead as Tyler Seguin scored just 1:29 into the contest. The rookie, returning to the lineup after watching the last two contests from the stands a healthy scratch, fed home a rebound after a Blake Wheeler wrap-around attempt was denied by Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard. It was Seguin’s ninth goal of the season.

The Bruins and Wings traded a pair of goals before the end of the first 20, with Todd Bertuzzi tying things at 1-1 as he scored in back-to-back games for the first time all season and then Brad Marchand atoning for a ill-fated breakout pass that lead to the Bertuzzi goal to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead at the break.

When the two division leaders returned to the ice for the second, the Red Wings and their slow-and-steady play took over and exposed the generally steady Bruins defense. Just under four minutes into the period, the Red Wings tied the game again as defenseman Adam McQuaid, in an attempt to clear Detroit’s Daniel Cleary from the front of the net, knocked over goaltender Tim Thomas, leaving the net wide open for Pavel Datsyuk’s 14th of the season. Later in the period, Detroit stalwart Kris Draper breezed by Seguin to walk in alone on Thomas after a beautiful centering feed from Patrick Eaves and give Detroit their first lead of the game, 3-2, at 12:44. The Bruins were outshot 19-6 in the second frame.

Momentum began to swing back in the Bruins favor as they hung in and battled throughout the game’s final period. With just seven minutes remaining in the game and the Bruins pressuring, Howard, the game’s unsung hero for Detroit, came up with the biggest of 23 saves on the day, making a sprawling, post-to-post save to rob Nathan Horton, effectively sealing the win for the Wings. It was Howard’s league leading 28th win of the season.

Off the transition from Howard’s save, Detroit extended their lead after a bad pinch at the Detroit blue line by Johnny Boychuk sprung Johan Franzen on a 2-on-1 with Bertuzzi, which resulted in Bertuzzi recording his second goal of the contest, fourth in the two games against Boston, just 35 seconds later. A late tripping call on Franzen did keep the door open for the Bruins, but the Wing’s 19th ranked penalty kill held the Bruins shot less on the man advantage.

The loss keeps the Bruins just one point ahead of idle Montreal in the Northeast Division and a bad taste in their mouth, as they will have to wait until next season to avenge the back-to-back disappointing loses to the Red Wings. The Bruins will now return home to lick their wounds and take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night, before embarking on a six-game road trip that will include a tour through the Canadian provinces.

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[1] their most disappointing lose of the season, 6-1: http://prosportsblogging.com/nhl-hockey/boston-bruins/major-letdown-for-bruins/

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