The Detroit Red Wings faced a pivotal game as they hosted the Boston Bruins for a Sunday matinee at Little Caesars Arena on Sunday. The Bruins stood only 1 point behind the Wings in the Eastern Conference standings (with 5 games in hand) prior to Sunday’s game.
The Red Wings plain old laid an egg on Sunday, and lost 5-1, giving Boston a 1-point lead in the Eastern Conference standings, with 5 games still in hand.
The Wings were down 2-1 going into the 3rd period, which was great, but they gave up 3 3rd period goals, amidst a 14-shot Boston flurry, and Detroit was out-shot 37-24. The fact that the Red Wings went 0-for-4 on the power play and took 3 penalties did not help, either, nor did the fact that the Red Wings’ 24 shots were accompanied by TWENTY shots that were either blocked (15) or wide (5) of Jeremy Swayman, the winning goalie.
It was an incredibly disappointing loss for the Red Wings, who have lost their two post-COVID break games. They now host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, and head out West for 3 California games.
The teams dressed the following lineups…
The starters and scratches were as follows…
In the 1st period…
So Craig Smith centered Pastrnak and Marchand as the Bruins’ “top line” and the Red Wings’ top line of Bertuzzi, Larkin and Raymond drew in for the opening faceoff…
And the Bruins got chastised for not dressing the aforementioned players for the opening draw, so the B’s made a change as soon as htey won the opening faceoff and Smith fired a shot in on Nedeljkovic;
The Wings raced up the other way but went offside 14 seconds into the 1st.
Larkin lost said draw and the Bruins skated into the Wings’ zone via a dump-and-chase, Bergeron wrapped a shot off the side of the net, Grzlecyk sent the puck wide and the Wings cleared their zone, pushed the puck into Boston’s end for a moment, and re-set in their own zone as the Suter line took to the ice 55 seconds into the 1st;
Staal helped the Wings clear their zone, Namestnikov spun around a Bruin, and Fabbri got tagged for interference as he knocked the stick out of a Boston Bruins player’s hands. Fabbri sat for hacking Brandon Carlo’s stick at 1:13.
On the penalty kill, Boston won the draw, set up and cycled, but Nedeljkovic stopped Nick Foligno off a pass from Marchand down low, and Detroit cleared the zone;
Boston re-set, but Seider blocked off the B’s and helped the Wings push the puck 200 feet away from their goal;
Detroit then repelled the B’s next rush by standing up at the blueline;
Boston chipped and chased for the next rush, but Nedeljkovic, Hronek and Gagner made sure that the Bruins could go no further than the blueline;
Marchand chugged up and in, he sent the puck back to the line for Coyle, Boston set up, Marchand sent it across and Detroit blocked the pass as Seider skated up with Namestnikov, who could not handle Seider’s pass 2 on 1 shorthanded;
Detroit stifled the Bruins for the final five seconds of the power play, and Nedeljkovic stopped Debrusk.
Fabbri skated in with Namestnikov again vs. Swayman, and Oesterle got an OK scoring chance on Swayman as a result of being the 3rd man on the rush.
Most importantly: Penalty killed!
As play continued, the Red Wings’ top line battled the Nosek line, which skated into the Wings’ end and mucked and ground the puck along the side boards…
And Bertuzzi got high sticked…By Tyler Bertuzzi’s stick, but Tomas Nosek got called for high-sticking at 4:20 of the 1st, affording Detroit a power play.
On the power play, Boston won the initial draw but when setting up, Raymond fumbled the puck and Marchand and Bergeron got a great scoring chance;
Hronek then carried the puck up ice and into the B’s zone himself, and the Bruins stole the puck and cleared;
Suter set up with 1:09 left in the PP, Seider Datsyuk Dropped to Erne who skated into Boston’s zone, Fabbri and Seider established control, and Bertuzzi could not hold the puck in;
Seider regrouped for Raymond, Larkin fed Seider, to Fabbri, to Raymond, back for Erne, held in by Seider to Fabbri, blocked and cleared Boston.
Seider set up with 15 left on the PP and the Wings raced in deep with Raymond circling the net to Larkin at the blueline, and Seider fed Fabbri, who fired the Wings’ first shot on Swayman with about 6:40 gone in the 1st.
The B’s skated up and Nosek got a great chance off as the power play expired.
Boston’s forecheck then forced a turnover by Oesterle, and Boston’s McAvoy generated a back boards chance that NEDELJKOVIC STONED with a fantastic stop on Oskar Steen:
Boston continued to dominate possession and control as the period progressed, and Pastrnak, Reilly and Hall cycled deep before the Rasmussen-Namestnikov-Zadina line pushed the puck away from their own goal, only to be checked heavily by the Boston Bruins’ physical defenders;
8:35 into the 1st, Erne got smeared by Clifton at the Bruins’ line;
9 minutes into the 1st period, Boston was taking a page out of the Capitals’ book, playing the Wings extra physically at both ends of the ice, so Detroit was quite literally on the run as it was chased down moving the puck;
Larkin tried to set up Raymond for two scoring chances, only to be blocked by the active sticks and skates of the Bruins’ defenders, too, and Raymond set up himself with 10:10 left in the 1st, but he was pinned, Raymond tried to set up Bertuzzi, and he was stifled, so Boston iced the puck with 10:06 gone.
Detroit changed lines in a hurry, bringing out Rowney, Veleno and Gagner opposite the Nosek line, and instead, Boston’s Haula, Hall and Pastrnak came out over the boards, and gave Gagner and company a heavy checking.
Boston led in shots 5-2 with 8:47 remaining.
When the Larkin line came out, Raymond was double-checked, DeKeyser held the puck in, however, and as DeKeyser shot the puck toward the net, the rebound came off a Bruins defender, Bertuzzi was afforded a free shot on Swayman behind the Bruins’ defensive coverage, which was occupied tying up Dylan Larkin, and #59 jammed the puck into the open net to open the scoring.
Tyler Bertuzzi scored from Danny DeKeyser and Dylan Larkin at 11:28. 1-0 Detroit.
On the post-goal shift, Nedeljkovic made one, two, three, and four great stops on Smith, Marchand, and Marchand again.
Boston was out-shooting Detroit 11-3 at 13:11 of the 1st. Detroit led 1-0.
When play resumed after the TV timeout, Boston again dominated possession and control of the puck, but they went offside at Detroit’s line @ 13:41;
Bertuzzi, Larkin and Raymond came out for the next shift, and they worked with Hronek and Staal, but the B’s set up 3 on 2, Larkin and Bertuzzi tried to help backchecking, and Nedeljkovic had to make another stop at the side of the net, opposite one Trent Frederic, ushering in another TV timeout.
When play resumed, Marchand cheated on faceoffs, but his cheating resulted in Rasmussen being tossed, Erne charged with a false draw, and the Bruins pushing the puck on Nedeljkovic, grabbing the puck and forcing Bergeron to draw in for the next faceoff, which Boston won, and Bergeron fired in on Nedeljkovic for the B’s 12th shot.
With 5:25 remaining in the period, Detroit’s Erne blocked a Marchand shot but Craig Smith centered the puck off a loose puck situation in the corner, and Bergeron ripped the puck far side over Nedeljkovic’s blocker, tying the game at 1.
Bergeron scored at 14:48 to give the Bruins a 1-1 tie. Smith and Marchand assisted. And yes, Seider got beat down low by Marchand on that board play.
On the post-goal shift, Nedeljkovic made another stop, and Boston afforded Detroit a little time in the offensive zone, but other than a simple save on Suter by Swayman, the Bruins were barely challenged in terms of clearing their zone.
16 minutes into the 1st, the Wings’ light touch was not ideal.
So Taylor Hall raced in, was checked by Staal, Hronek battled Haula, who put the puck off the outside of the net, and Detroit chipped the puck out to center, where Boston re-set;
Pastrnak ran Raymond, sans call, at 16:40;
Seider did get a long shot in on Swayman, and another attempt that went wide;
DeKeyser found Larkin at the blueline, and his shot was blocked;
And Detroit went offside with 2:52 remaining in the 1st.
Detroit trailed in shots 15-5 and Detroit’s attempts were 10 to Boston’s 21.
When play resumed at 17:08, Detroit’s Rowney line attempted to cycle, was forced to defend in its end instead, and when Rowney, Gagner and Veleno tried to set up in the B’s end, Swayman made an easy stop on Gagner from the side boards.
On the next shift, Nedeljkovic’s stick was hacked away from him, Marchand did get bumped down a couple of times, but the Bruins cycled, the Bruins cycled, Smith fired wide, and Detroit iced the puck with 1:31 remaining.
The Wings won the draw, but they were on the run until Filip Zadina skated into the B’s zone…and fired a shot off a Bruins stick, into the netting above and behind Swayman.
The Larkin line came out with 1:06 remaining, lost their deep offensive zone faceoff, and Raymond got the stick slashed out of his hands, and was hit in the face, leaving the ice for the locker room.
Raymond ended up losing his stick due to a puck that hit his face, and afterward, Brandon Carlo punched him in the face, sans call.
Nick Foligno then hacked Filip Hronek with 27.2 remaining in the period, in the Wings’ end, and Foligno also slashed Hronek, but was given that slash for free…
On the power play, the Wings lost the initial draw, Namestnikov tried to re-set for Zadina, Hronek sent a shot wide, and off the back boards, Zadina played the puck….out…as play ended with the green light flashing to end the 1st period.
In the 2nd period…
The Red Wings started the 2nd period with 1:32 of PP time. And Raymond on the ice.
On the power play…
Larkin drew in for the opening draw opposite Bergeron, and the Bruins won it, Marchand ground it out down low in the Wings’ end, and then peeled off for a change, affording Seider and company the ability to carry the puck up ice.
Raymond wrapped the puck back to Seider, his shot was blocked, and Bertuzzi came back to retrieve the puck;
Detroit carried the puck to center, Larkin skated in deep, cycled, and Larkin was stopped by Swayman on the wraparound attempt.
The Wings went to their 2nd unit for the final 36 ticks of PP time; they won the deep offensive zone draw, and Filip Hronek found Sam Gagner at the side of the net, but Gagner was stifled by Swayman;
Suter won the next draw to Hronek, who fired a shot off a body, and Suter swung around and fired a puck out of the air on Swayman, who made a good stop;
Gagner took the next draw with 17 seconds remaining on the PP, and lost it, so the Bruins chipped the puck down ice, and Nedeljkovic helped Hronek set up, but the PP expired before Suter could gain the offensive zone blueline.
Foligno came out of the box, fed Coyle, and he fired a shot high and wide of Nedeljkovic;
Ultimately, Lindstrom cycled around the net, found Oesterle, he put the puck off the back boards, but Detroit’s Erne line was expertly-checked, and the Bruins went the other way, with Nedeljkovic having to punch a Pastrnak shot out of play with 2:26 gone in the period.
Boston won the next faceoff, but Rowney, Namestnikov and Veleno were able to push the puck away from Nedeljkovic and then force the Bruins to turn the puck over at center ice…
Where Namestnikov fought Marchand and got the take-down. Both players were given 2-minute slashing minors and 5-minute fighting majors at 2:59 of the 2nd period.
First fight of 2022 involves #RedWings Vladislav Namestnikov and everyone’s player they love to hate, #Bruins Brad Marchand. #LGRW@Vladdy18 pic.twitter.com/tLfXcsNUYd— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) January 2, 2022
Detroit’s Bertuzzi, Raymond and Larkin battled the puck away from their own zone, they cycled in the B’s end, and Hronek could not retain control in the offensive zone, so the Wings re-set at center, Hronek was the weak link again, and Detroit re-set at center one more time, but Staal fired the puck wide of Raymond and iced the puck at 3:44.
Larkin’s line had to stay out long for the next faceoff, which they won, and Lucas Raymond was stripped of his stick trying to break away from a Bruins defender, but no referee cared that his stick was ripped out of his hands.
As play continued, the 5-minute mark passed, and Fabbri was wiped out by Pastrnak, Seider and DeKeyser nearly generated a goal, and a loose puck was jabbed and poked into Swayman by Fabbri, who got into a scrum with Clifton and Hall…
And Gagner went into it with Pastrnak as well.
Gagner and Swayman, who punched Fabbri during the scrum, were given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties at 5:24.
The Wings and Bruins played four on four, with DeKeyser, Seider, Bertuzzi and Larkin taking to the ice, and Seider skated in deep himself, but was stifled by 3 Bruins defenders;
Boston skated up 2 on 1, and Bergeron fired a shot wide;
Bertuzzi fed Seider in the slot for a shot that was stopped by Swayman;
Oesterle made a good stop on Bergeron;
Seider smoked a Bruin trying to run him:
Suter, Raymond, Hronek and Oesterle were the next quartet, and the B’s skated into the Wings’ zone with 20 left in the 4 on 4, Suter stole the puck, Raymond walked up rw side, fed Oesterle on the wraparound, skated deep, came out of the boards, fed Hronek and he blasted the shot wide, and 3 Bruins skated up and HAULA SCORED coming out of the penalty box top corner.
Haula scored coming out of the penalty box at 7:37 of the 2nd period. Unassisted.
On the post-goal shift, there was a lot of hooking and holding by the Bruins on the Red Wings’ forecheck, but it was fine…
When play resumed after the TV timeout, Raymond fed Larkin, who was spun off the puck by a Bruins defender, and Frederic was called for cross-checking at 8:47.
Detroit won the initial zone faceoff, but did not generate much;
The second rush resulted in Larkin’s centering pass firing the puck to a Bruin in the slot, and they cleared the zone;
Seider skated the puck up ice himself, and the Bruins cleared the puck easily;
So Fabbri dropped the puck to Hronek, Veleno sent the puck deeper, Hronek and Veleno and Fabbri battled hard, but Forbort got the puck and cleared the zone;
With 35 left in the PP, Hronek skated up ice, the Wings went cross ice, Gagner was tripped by Clifton, and the Bruins cleared the puck;
Hronek carried the puck up from Nedeljkovic one more time, Detroit chipped and chased, and Boston gave up the puck to Lindstrom, but not before the power play expired.
After the PP expired, Rasmussen was dumped away from play, sans call, and Rowney worked with Erne and then Larkin, but the B’s cleared the zone…
With 8:08 remaining, Raymond and Bertuzzi worked the puck to Seider at the point, to DeKeyser and then Bertuzzi in the slot, and he was stopped by Swayman;
Larkin skated back in via Seider and Raymond got a great shot off that Swayman stopped;
Seider held the puck in, and Detroit had to battle the B’s defense, which cleared the puck;
Ultimately, Jake DeBrusk centered the puck into the Wings’ slot and Joe Veleno made a good slot-clearing play, but the B’s took over the puck and centered the puck to Steen in the shot, who sent it wide;
Boston’s Nosek line continued to battle against the Wings’ fourth line and the Seider pairing, and Detroit was able to clear thanks to a smart play by Seider;
Fabbri did get a sneaky shot toward the net that Swayman had to stop once, then twice, off the shaft of his stick;
AND NEDELJKOVIC MADE TWO TREMENDOUS STOPS ON FREDERIC AND NOSEK BEFORE A SCRUM ENVELOPED THE RED WINGS’ NET with 5:44 remaining.
Nedeljkovic recovers with a big save and then dishes out some facewashes with his trapper in the scrum. Ned truly does it all. #LGRW pic.twitter.com/M5uRELOyfp— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) January 2, 2022
Larkin drew in for the post-TV timeout draw with 5:44 left, vs. Bergeron, in the Wings’ defensive zone, and he won it, and at the other end, Raymond got a scoring chance in on Swayman, firing the Wings’ 10th shot of the period in on the Bruins goaltender.
Raymond, Bertuzzi and Larkin did a good job of cycling, but Marchand and Seider tangled, and Seider beat out both of ’em, but Reilly held the puck in, Marchand and the B’s re-set at center, and went in offside on a line change.
With 4:41 remaining, the shots were 10-6 Detroit in the 2nd period, but 21-16 Boston overall.
When play resumed after the TV timeout, Veleno, Rowney and Namestnikov worked together on the Gagner-less fourth line, and they actually put a solid shift together, with Veleno drawing a penalty by being tripped with 4:10 remaining/15:50 expired. DeBrusk sat for hooking.
On the power play, Swayman grabbed the puck off a loose faceoff to force a second draw that Larkin was kicked out of;
Fabbri drew in and lost it to Bergeron, so the B’s had an easy clear and skated up and in, where Marchand cycled around the net to Bergeron, who was stopped by Nedeljkovic;
Seider was stripped and the Bruins played keep-away 200 feet from their net;
Seider took over, fed Raymond, it was dumped in, and Seider could not help stop Haula, who HIT THE GOALPOST on the backhand…
The Bruins continued to work 200 feet from their net;
With 43 left in the PP, Fabbri, Larkin, Bertuzzi, Suter and Hronek worked together, and Fabbri was sore, but he helped Bertuzzi, as did Suter, and the Bruins cleared the zone;
With 2:20 remaining and 10 left in the PP, Detroit chipped and chased, and it did not work, so Boston killed the power play without surrendering a shot.
With 2 minutes remaining, the line of Zadina, Rasmussen and Namestnikov worked the puck free, Swayman stopped Namestnikov’s shot, and the Bruins went the other way, where BERGERON got in behind the Wings’ defense…
But was stopped by Nedeljkovic.
Rasmussen of all people bumped a Bruin;
Reilly chipped and the Bruins changed in the offensive zone, but Gagner and Oesterle pushed the puck away from their net, Rowney battled, Boston chipped to center, Craig Smith dumped, Nedeljkovic misplayed the puck and had to make a stop, and there were 53.5 seconds remaining in the 2nd period.
Detroit won the next faceoff (sort of) and pushed the puck to center, regrouped as DeKeyser and Seider sent the puck out of trouble, and Veleno, Rowney and Gagner afforded the Bruins zone time, with Nedeljkovic and his defense stopping Grzlecyk;
Grzlecyk was blocked off on the next shift, and Suter fired a long shot on Swayman as the period ended.
In the 3rd period…
The 3rd period began with the Larkin line drawing in opposite Bergeron, whose line won the opening faceoff and pushed the puck into Detroit’s end;
Detroit struggled to gain the Bruins’ line, with Bertuzzi double teamed, so Smith skated the other way, chipped for Marchand, Larkin stifled that wrap pass, Bertuzzi skated into the B’s zone and was double checked again, so Boston tagged up and chipped the puck in as Detroit changed;
Hronek and Suter fumbled an exchange, so Hall kept possession for the B’s, and Pastrnak fired a shot off a Hronek misplay that Nedeljkovic had to stop 1:13 into the 3rd period.
The next faceoff went to the Wings, and they chipped and chased, but the Bruins worked hard to battle the puck to the blueline and out, and Pius Suter had to battle Erik Haula in front of the Wings’ net;
Fabbri and Namestnikov went the other way 2 on 4, and the Bruins were unable to get the puck out, so Rasmussen…
Passed when he should have shot.
Lindstrom held the puck in, but Clifton and Pastrnak cleared the zone.
2:20 into the 3rd, the Wings worked the puck deep, were repelled by the Bruins’ defense, and Frederic was sent the other way, stopped by Nedeljkovic, and Detroit was forced to ice the puck with 2:44 gone.
Rasmussen lost a draw, McAvoy and Marchand worked the puck deep, but Detroit’s Oesterle and Lindstrom cleared the zone smartly, and the Rowney-Veleno-Gagner line did an OK job of preventing the Bruins from generating any scoring chances during their shift…
Though Veleno got away with a high stick;
Steen did send a shot in on Nedeljkovic, but was stopped easily with Nedeljkovic’s glove;
Raymond lost a draw but Boston re-set in their zone, Nedeljkovic played the B’s dump-in around the boards, Detroit turned the puck over and Raymond ultimately skated away with the puck, set up Bertuzzi, Oesterle was stopped by Swayman sans traffic, Raymond and Larkin had shots blocked, and Boston iced the puck with 15:26 remaining in regulation.
So the Suter line came out, opposite Bergeron, and the B’s won their defensive zone draw and cleared the zone easily.
Fabbri and Namestnikov set up and worked a 2 on 1 play well, via an Oesterle-and-Lindstrom keep-in…
And Fabbri made a defensive play that was quite good by hitting Haula, before Nedeljkovic made a stop and Gustav Lindstrom bumped Pastrnak as the Wings turned up the physical pressure.
As play continued, the Bruins were checking Detroit tremendously hard and working the puck down low in Detroit’s zone without trouble, so it was no surprise when Charlie McAvoy got away from the Red Wings’ defensive coverage, Taylor Hall fed McAvoy as Filip Hronek checked Pastrnak, and McAvoy made it 3-1.
McAvoy scored from Hall and Coyle at 5:59 to make it 3-1.
Zadina lost his check, as did Rasmussen.
On the post-goal shift, the Bruins continued to dominate possession and control opposite Gagner, Rowney and Veleno, and Detroit at least pushed the puck away from its net, but Nosek’s line did a good job of cycling deep, and Lindstrom and Oesterle could only do so much.
Namestnikov was hit hard by Marchand on the next shift;
Smith and Frederic fed Reilly and the Bruins made it 4-1 with ease, going 4 on 2 in the Wings’ zone, scoring as Trent Frederic took the rebound off Nedeljkovic and made it a 3-goal lead for the Bruins with ease.
Frederic scored at 7:55 from Reilly and Nosek.
Ultimately, the Bruins generated another fine scoring chance that Nedeljkovic stopped and when Rasmussen, Zadina and Raymond got a rare line shift together, the Bruins chipped the puck out of play, off the glass, and we headed to a TV timeout with 10:43 remaining.
Shots were 6-1 Boston at 9:17.
Rasmussen, Erne and Zadina got another shift, and Seider did a GREAT job of generating a scoring chance, which DeKeyser missed the rebound of, and getting back to stifle the Bruins’ offensive push;
Erne, Rasmussen and Zadina did do a good job of pumping the puck to the point on the next shift, where Staal fed Erne and Erne fed Rasmussen in front, but Swayman got his blocker on the chance.
At the next TV timeout, Detroit had 20 shots on net and 20 more attempts. Boston had blocked SIXTEEN shots, and 4 went wide, including that Hronek shot that yielded Haula’s goal.
Regrettably, Rowney, Hronek and Veleno pinched, Staal got beat, Gagner got beat, working on defense, and Tomas Nosek fed the puck five hole on Alex Nedeljkovic, making it 5-1.
Nosek scored at 10:40.
Worse, the Red Wings took a penalty at 11:01, with DeKeyser going for holding Marchand.
On the penalty kill, Boston mostly played keep-away, with Marchand, McAvoy, Bergeron and Pastrnak working with Marchand to cycle deep and kill clock.
The Bruins’ second unit worked the puck deep as well, and Hall got too cute, so Lindstrom cleared the zone;
Boston set up in its own zone, and skated deep with little resistance, as Coyle cycled, Boston set up and cycled again playing keep away on the perimeter, and Grzelcyk sent a puck wide once, twice, and the PP was killed…
And Vladislav Namestnikov sat with 6:45 remaining for a very, very marginal trip on DeBrusk.
On the penalty-kill, Suter worked to battle a lost faceoff down ice and fire a long shot on Swayman, which may or may not have counted;
Nedeljkovic cleared the next rush himself;
Boston continued to play “keep away,” as it were, on the perimeter, but they tried to score, too!
Staal, Hronek, Erne and company were able to clear the puck;
Rowney, Gagner, Lindstrom and Oesterle worked together for the next shift, and Veleno took over for Gagner, but the Bruins played keep-away, and Grzelcyk sent a shot wide, Foligno and DeBrusk sent shots wide, and Detroit at least did an OK job killing the penalty.
With 4:41 remaining, the Red Wings skated out, Namestnikov worked with Larkin and Bertuzzi, and nothing came of it.
When play resumed with 4:05 remaining, the Wings won the next draw, and DeKeyser and Seider, who did not play any PK time, were out with the Namestnikov line, but the Bruins dominated possession and control, and Detroit spent the most of its shift defending.
Seider and DeKeyser did help Rasmussen and Erne skate into the B’s zone, but Boston put up a wall in their own zone, and Detroit could not penetrate it.
With 2:55 remaining, Nedeljkovic made a fine stop on Hall;
Gagner, Veleno and Rowney were not in the mood to give up with 2:13 remaining, and they tried very hard to generate some offense, but nothing came of it;
Larkin, Raymond and Bertuzzi got one more shift in with 1:15 remaining, and they could only give Swayman a puck to hold onto for a faceoff, not even a shot on goal.
The shots on goal were 14-6 Boston.
Ultimately, the game ended with Detroit skating in their own end, and into the Bruins’ zone, where Swayman had to make one final stop on Michael Rasmussen.