After one of the memorable sports days in Boston sports history, it was the Bruins turn to try to keep the momentum going from Sunday’s dramatic wins by the Patriots and Red Sox.
Unfortunately, the Black and Gold ran into an aging, but still talented Detroit Red Wings squad Monday afternoon at the TD Garden. And, despite several quality chances throughout the Columbus Day matinee, the B’s fell to their Atlantic Division foes, 3-2.
Here are three takeaways from Monday’s contest:
1) Second period haunts Bruins
Certainly, you can’t fault the B’s for throwing pucks at Jonas Gustavsson all afternoon, and the second period was no exception. They were able to get pucks towards “The Monster” but they were a step slow in pouncing on the loose pucks.
The Red Wings made them pay for the missed opportunities, and that was the difference in this one. Stephen Weiss and Daniel Cleary took advantage of the Bruins cracks in the D and gave the Wings a 3-1 lead with their goals coming 2:20 apart.
The Bruins threw everything but the kitchen sink, but they’ve still come up empty on the scoreboard. As a matter of fact, they’ve had trouble finishing in their last three games and have been outscored 6-5 in that span.
“We’re having trouble finishing on goals right now,” head coach Claude Julien said. “We saw it tonight, last weekend in Columbus and all the way to Thursday against Colorado.”
2) Power play comes up empty, again
The last time they faced Detroit, the B’s went 2-for-4 on the power play. So one would assume that they would light the lamp at least once when they had five chances with the man advantage, right?
Once again, though, the Black and Gold came up empty on the power play going 0-for-5, and are now scoreless in 14 straight attempts with the man advantage.
The Bruins moved puck the well, particularly when they had a 5-on-3 for 1:54 early in the third period. While the Bruins put together a shooting gallery, the Wings did a good job getting in the shooting lanes and disrupting the flow.
Thus, the Bruins power play continues to be Boston’s biggest mystery.
“We didn’t score goals. That’s what we’re judged on,” said defenseman Torey Krug. “They can say we had great puck movement, but that doesn’t matter because our job is to score goals and get momentum for our team. They did a good job of blocking shots. I had a few that were blocked myself, and I got to do a better job of getting pucks to the net. We got to score goals.”
3) Lucic gets goal No. 100
The milestone is a blip on the radar screen this afternoon, but that doesn’t mean Bruins fans shouldn’t appreciate the accomplishments of one Milan Lucic.
With 1:20 left in regulation, the seventh-year power forward pulled Boston within one with his third of the season, and 100th for his career. He had a chance to get goal No. 101 late in the third and tie things up on a tip-in attempt, but his redirect was deflected just wide of Gustavsson.
With three goals so far on the year, Lucic is picking up right where he left off during a solid performance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That is a good sign for Bruins fans, especially with newcomer Jarome Iginla struggling to find the back of the net.
“We were able to generate speed and chances through the neutral zone and off the rush. So, we have got to keep working at it and like I said, once we start bearing down it’ll be right where we want it to be,” Lucic said.
“I think if he gets one they’ll come in bunches,” Lucic added about Iginla’s early season slump. “So I think we know he’s a professional and he’s definitely a guy that’s not going to be frustrated and he’s going to work through it and we all believe in him and have his back.”
While the team came up short, Lucic was at least appreciative of the effort against Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and company.
“I thought we fought hard,” he said. “I thought we generated a lot [of chances] but it comes down to getting on those rebounds and second and third shots and hopefully we can get better at that. They’re hard to play against on both sides of the puck and you saw that here today.”