The Bruins stole two points in Detroit Wednesday night to extend their unbeaten streak to four games.
“Against all odds the better team did not win,” NESN play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards decried after Frank Vatrano scored his second goal of the game to steal the 3-2 win in overtime. “The Wings are stunned.”
“They got lucky and found a way to win,” NESN analyst Billy Jaffe said postgame about the Bruins’ win.
The Black and Gold also ended October with four straight wins.
Last Thursday, the team played a very good game in the 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild with Jonas Gustavsson in net. Saturday, a “good” game – according to Jaffe – in the 2-0 win over Toronto with Tuukka Rask in goal that was scoreless until Zdeno Chara scored with four minutes remaining. Monday an “average” effort in Jaffe jargon in a 4-3 OT win at Toronto after twice blowing the lead, again with Rask in net.
“It’s a big, big divisional game,” Pederson added about the pre-Thanksgiving opportunity for Boston to leapfrog past Detroit in the standings.
With former Wings’ Gustavsson and Landon Ferraro in the lineup, here’s what we learned:
Call it what it is – a “fortunate” win…
After Frank Vatrano scored at 7:11 of the first period, Detroit controlled the game until Colin Miller scored with two minutes remaining to tie it at 2-2. It was Vatrano’s first game back after being injured against the Wild.
The Wings outshot Boston 31-17 in regulation and were significantly ahead in scoring chances throughout, including overtime, until Vatrano ended it at 3:32.
That glaring stat was replicated again…
Coming into Wednesday’s game, the Bruins had scored first more than any team in the league but struggled in the second period all year. They entered 2nd overall in scoring in the first period, 9th in the second, and 21st in the third period in the league.
“It’s on us to be better in the second period,” Chara said before the game.
Pavel Datsyuk back after injury and in his seventh game of the season scored his 300th goal of his career at 2:26 of second. Detroit was 3-0-1 since his return. Tomas Tatar put Detroit ahead at 14:53.
“Bruins are playing with fire,” Andy Brickley said. “Scorch marks on the Spoked-B,” Edwards added. “It was like the Bruins had their turkey dinner after the first period,” Barry Pederson commented after the period ended.
The Bruins were outshot 24-13 after two; 7-0 in scoring opportunities. They mustered only four shots in the third period until Miller scored.
“Detroit has had so many chances,” Edwards chimed with five minutes remaining after Gustavsson denied Luke Glendening on a clean breakaway.
Gustavsson played his best game in a Bruins uniform…
“If not for Jonas Gustavsson, this could be a runaway for Detroit,” NESN’s Dale Arnold said during the second intermission.”
“He is the only reason the Bruins are able to get a point out of this one,” Edwards said at the end of regulation.
Gustavsson, who is now 3-0-0 lifetime against the Red Wings — with two of those victories coming as a member of the Maple Leafs — earned the second star of the night after making 32 stops. The win improved Gustavsson to 5-1-1 on the season.
The Bruins power play failed in two straight games into Wednesday…
Make that three for the longest drought of the season. Giving Detroit extended zone time throughout the game meant a need to score on the power play. That was not to be in three opportunities with the man-advantage.
That Thanksgiving playoff stat…
The Bruins’ 25 points are good for a tie for sixth among four teams into Friday’s biggest test of the year against the red-hot New York Rangers, who are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games. Then comes a challenging Western Conference swing through Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
“We found a way to win,” Claude Julien said after the game. “Our young kids did a great job of that. We have a big win but at the same time we’re not kidding ourselves, we’ve got to be much better than we have. Not just tonight.”
Yes, a whole lot better Friday.