The time has arrived to take the Bruins a little more seriously.
In their first foray into the ultra-competitive Atlantic Division, the B’s knocked off the high-scoring Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, withstanding a late push to improve to 7-0-1.
Jeremy Swayman stopped 23-of-24 shots and the B’s throttled the Wings offense for the first 40 minutes before withstanding a third period onslaught from a Wings’ offense that came into the game average 4.38 goals a game.
David Pastrnak sealed it with a penalty shot goal and then empty netter to nail down the two points.
The Bruins played one of their best periods of the year in the opening 20 minutes and took a 2-0 lead over the Wings.
After stifling Detroit’s high-powered power play, the B’s got one of their after 6-foot-6 Michael Rasmussen ran Matt Poitras from behind and was called for boarding. The B’s paid Detroit back on the scoreboard.
With Charlie McAvoy in full control of the man advantage, James van Riemsdyk had several tip chances, one of which hit the post beside goalie Ville Husso, but the B’s would not let him off the hook. With the B’s dominating the ice below the circles, Brad Marchand sent a puck through the slot that eventually found it’s way to the backhand of Pavel Zacha and he was finally able to flip it home for his second of the year at 10:33.
McAvoy then made it 2-0 at 14:36 on a spectacular individual play, though he got an uncredited assist from Patrick Brown. McAvoy burst down on his off wing and, with Brown playing the role of Paul Silas boxing out a lane for the defenseman in front of the net, McAvoy took the space given to him and was just able to backhand the puck through Husso at 14:38.
The B’s held a 13-7 shot advantage in the first.
The second period was less frenetic and, as such, scoreless. But the B’s were tempting fate. Midway through the period. Oskar Steen took an offensive zone hooking penalty and later Trent Frederic was called for high-sticking right off a defensive zone draw.
But the B’s penalty kill was not only able to keep the Wings’ explosive power play, they held them to very few opportunities that could be termed a scoring chance.
Jeremy Swayman lost his bid for his second consecutive shutout at 6:40 of the third period. Charlie Coyle turnover over the puck just outside Bruin zone. Joe Veleno got the puck with speed, cut through the B’s zone sizzled a wrist shot the beat Swayman over the glove.
That changed the tenor of the game. The same way the Ducks took over the game on Thursday, the Wings were emboldened by the goal that got them within one. They pinned the B’s in their own zone and hit a post.
But after Derek Forbort and Ben Chiarot got sent off for roughing, Zacha sent David Pastrnak for a breakaway on the 4-on-4. Pastrnak was hacked on the glove by Jake Walman, earning a penalty shot at 11:19.
On the freebie, Pastrnak threw a couple of jukes at Husso and then roofed it over him to make it 3-1. It was his second successful penalty shot this season, one prettier than the next, and this one allowed the B’s breathe enough to finish the game.
With the empty net, Pastrnak then finished it off when he banked the puck off the boards and it slid slowly into the net.