The Boston Bruins defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, at TD Garden on Saturday afternoon– marking their first win against the the Red Wings in their last six regular season meetings.
Tuukka Rask (22-5-6 record, 2.08 goals against average, .931 save percentage in 34 games played) made 25 saves on 26 shots against for a .962 SV% in the win for the B’s.
Red Wings goaltender, Jonathan Bernier (12-17-2, 2.90 GAA, .908 SV% in 35 games played), stopped 37 out of 41 shots faced for a .902 SV% in the loss.
Boston improved to 36-11-12 (84 points) and remained in command of the Atlantic Division, while Detroit fell to 14-42-4 (32 points) and remained stuck in last place in the Atlantic.
The Bruins also improved to 21-2-9 at home this season, while Bruce Cassidy picked up his 200th career win as an NHL head coach. He is 153-63-34 in 250 games as Boston’s head coach.
Also of note, David Krejci suited up in his 900th career NHL game on Saturday and became the 7th Bruin in franchise history to play in 900 games or more.
Boston was without the services of Kevan Miller (knee) and Connor Clifton (upper body) on Saturday, while Par Lindholm, John Moore and Anton Blidh served as the only healthy scratches for the B’s.
Cassidy made one change to his lineup, replacing Moore on the blue line with Jeremy Lauzon– back from his two-game suspension and fresh off a two-year extension that goes into effect next season worth $850,000 per season.
Gustav Lindstrom kicked things off with a holding minor 2:25 into the first period, but the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on their first power play opportunity of the afternoon.
In fact, while on the skater advantage, Boston allowed a short handed goal against as Darren Helm (9) poked in a rebound that Rask tried to clear, but fumbled at 3:12.
Helm’s goal was unassisted and gave Detroit a, 1-0, lead as the opponent scored the game’s first goal for the 16th time this season at TD Garden.
Late in the opening frame, Adam Erne cross checked Chris Wagner and was sent to the penalty box at 18:28, but the Bruins didn’t convert on the ensuing power play– even as it extended into the second period.
After one period of play, the Red Wings led, 1-0, on the scoreboard, despite the fact that the B’s led in shots on goal, 18-6.
Detroit held the advantage in blocked shots (5-0), takeaways (4-2) and hits (12-10), while Boston led in giveaways (2-1) and faceoff win percentage (63-37).
The Red Wings had yet to see any time on the skater advantage, while the Bruins were 0/2 on the power play entering the first intermission.
Midway through the middle frame, Charlie McAvoy (2) scooped up a rebound that rolled all the way to the point and worked his way into the slot before snapping a shot below Bernier’s blocker– tying the game, 1-1, in the process.
McAvoy’s goal was unassisted at 8:01 of the second period and kicked off a run of three goals in a 4:29 span for Boston.
Krejci hooked Andreas Athanasiou at 8:25 and presented Detroit with their first power play of the game, but the Red Wings were powerless on the power play and allowed a short handed goal against instead.
While short handed, Brad Marchand worked the puck deep into the attacking zone before dropping a pass back to Patrice Bergeron (25) while No. 37 in black and gold broke into the slot, deked and scored a backhand goal while Bernier dropped to a hybrid stance.
Marchand (49) had the only assist on Bergeron’s goal and the Bruins led for the first time of the afternoon, 2-1, at 9:40 of the second period with a pair of goals in a 1:39 span.
Almost a few minutes later, McAvoy ripped a shot from the point that Charlie Coyle (13) tipped in from the slot to give Boston a two-goal lead.
McAvoy (21) and Danton Heinen (15) notched the assists on the goal and the Bruins led, 3-1, at 12:30.
Less than a minute after Coyle’s goal, Lauzon was called for interference against Christoffer Ehn at 13:10 and yielded a power play to Detroit, but once more the Red Wings power play couldn’t put it together.
Late in the period, McAvoy was sent to the box for holding against Robby Fabbri at 18:12. Detroit did not score on the resulting power play.
Through 40 minutes of action on Saturday, the Bruins led, 3-1, on the scoreboard and, 30-14, in shots on goal. Boston also held the advantage in giveaways (4-3) and faceoff win% (60-40), while Detroit led in hits (21-20).
Both teams had five blocked shots and five takeaways aside, while the Red Wings were 0/3 and the B’s were 0/2 on the power play heading into the final frame.
Midway through the third period, Marchand dangled around Athanasiou while entering the attacking zone and sent a pass to David Pastrnak (42) for a one-timer that beat Bernier and extended Boston’s lead to three-goals.
Marchand (50) amassed his 50th assist of the season on Pastrnak’s goal, which established a new career-high in points (82) for Pastrnak and the third consecutive season of 50 or more assists for Marchand.
Pastrnak’s goal made it, 4-1, for the Bruins at 13:03 of the third period.
A few minutes later, while battling in the corner in Boston’s own zone, Athanasiou delivered a quick shove to Wagner’s face, which led to Wagner dropping the gloves and engaging Athanasiou in a fight at 16:39.
Both players received five-minute majors for fighting and an early exit from the game as a result.
At the final horn, the Bruins defeated the Red Wings, 4-1, and emerged victorious with the advantage in shots on goal (41-26), blocked shots (10-6) and faceoff win% (64-36).
Detroit finished the afternoon leading in hits (30-27), while both teams amassed five giveaways aside.
The Red Wings finished the game 0/3 on the power play, while the B’s went 0/2.
Rask improved to 14-0-6 at TD Garden this season, which is the best point streak at home to start a season in Bruins franchise history and tied Tiny Thompson’s franchise record for the longest home point streak overall.
Thompson had a 20-0-0 span in the 1929-30 season for Boston.
The Bruins improved to 6-4-3 when trailing after one period and 21-1-6 when leading after two periods this season with the win.
Boston begins a four-game road trip with stops against the New York Rangers on Sunday, Edmonton Oilers next Wednesday (Feb. 19th), Calgary Flames next Friday (Feb. 21st) and Vancouver Canucks next Saturday (Feb. 22nd).