As the more skilled team in this series, the Detroit Red Wings are looking to transition quickly up ice and use their finese. The Boston Bruins, on the other hand, are always looking to play with a physical edge while chipping pucks down low and grinding out the opposition.
To think about it, it’s a perfect way to counter the Red Wings’ finesse. And they did just that in Game 2.
“We knew we could have better than we were last game,” said forward Shawn Thornton. “We talked about it. I think that the guys did a good job of bringing the energy today.”
Unlike Game 1, where the Bruins didn’t have much space to work with thanks to a heavy Detroit defense, the B’s certainly made sure that they created their space that led a good net front presence, a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and two power play goals en route to a 4-1 victory.
“We knew the first game we didn’t play our best,” said B’s captain Zdeno Chara. “We wanted to make sure that we were better today, and I think we were. So we’ve just got to, again, continue to do the things that we do well and keep adjusting.”
The stat sheets show that the Bruins outhit the Red Wings 33-29. But as sexy as some stats are, there are other times where they don’t do justice, and that was certainly the case on Easter Sunday.
From the get-go, the Bruins were big and bad. From the bigger guys like Chara, Johnny Boychuk, Milan Lucic and Kevan Miller to the not so bigger guys like David Krejci, Reilly Smith and Torey Krug, the B’s threw their bodies at the Red Wings.
More importantly, those Big Bad Bruins threw the Red Wings off their game. Their frustration showed at key moments, too. Just ask Brendan Smith, who tried to engage in some post whistle activity with the bigger Chara, but was on the laughing end of Big Z’s smile and the other 17,565 chuckles inside TD Garden.
“When we play that style of hockey, everybody is going and trying to feed off each other,” said Boychuk, who led all skaters with five hits. “It gives us a little more room out there, too to make plays. I think if we continue to do that, it will help us out even though they’re a very fast team.”
“I thought all the guys right from the start of the game were able to get some good, clean, hard hits consistently,” said Jarome Iginla, who tallied three hits and an assist in 17:12 of ice time. “It was a good emotional game, and it was nice to get that going in the right direction.”
With the series tied at 1-1, the Bruins will look to establish their physicality, again, when the series shifts to the Joe Louis Arena for Game 3 on Tuesday night. Given that the Bruins haven’t won in “The Joe” for quite awhile, but that can all change if Sunday was any indicator.
“I think we played more of our game, and kind of took the hesitation out of our game that was there in that first game,” said Lucic. “I know we talked about how important this game was ever since the loss [in Game 1] and it was good to have a response here and get the series back to 1-1.”
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