Bruins

BSJ Game Report: Red Wings 4, Bruins 2 – B’s offense sputters in fight night at Garden

Adam Richins Photography

Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 4-2 loss against the Red Wings in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:

BOX SCORE

HEADLINES

Fight night at TD Garden: Well, that was something.

The closing minutes of the second period harkened back to the days of old-time hockey, with a full line brawl breaking out — including an almost heavyweight matchup between goalies Tuukka Rask and Jimmy Howard.

The chippiness started after David Krejci was leveled at center ice by Luke Witkowski, prompting Marchand to drop Nick Jensen on his next shift. Tyler Bertuzzi objected, as expected, to Marchand’s hit — with the pair exchanging shoves and pleasantries before Colby Cave got involved.

It was when Marchand got Howard with his stick that things finally spilled over — with both lines getting tangled up along the boards — and Rask skating out of his crease in attempt to drop the gloves with Howard.

Ultimately, the Red Wings benefited from the fracas off of a power-play strike from Dylan Larkin, but man, did it make for some fun hockey.

Five-on-five struggles continue: On a night in which Boston out-attempted Detroit by a commanding 53-33 margin during 45:39 of five-on-five play, the Black and Gold didn’t have much to show for it, with the lone goal coming off of an fortuitous bounce off the stick of David Backes.

With playmakers like Patrice Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy still out, Boston is going to have to sort out its issues at even strength and 5v5, rather than rely on its power play to bail it out. As evidenced by Saturday’s showing on the man advantage (1-for-6), it can get pretty ugly for this club when it doesn't have much going on on a 5v4 sequence.

Review finally goes Boston’s way: After consistently finding themselves on the wrong side of 50/50 calls to open the season, the Bruins finally got the benefit the doubt in the second period of Saturday’s game.

Bertuzzi appeared to have potted his second goal of the contest to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead, but seconds before he knocked the offering home, Rask was knocked down in the crease — leading Bruce Cassidy to challenge the goal on the basis of goaltender interference.

After a quick review, the goal was negated, preserving the 1-1 deadlock. Ultimately, it didn’t end up changing the final result of Saturday’s matchup, but hey, it was at least a step in the right direction.

TWO UP

Ryan Donato: Welcome back to the big leagues, kid. A game removed from notching the game-winner in the shootout on Thursday, Donato revived a dormant power play at 5:31 in the third off of his second goal of the season. A snipe off of a great feed from David Pastrnak, it was another encouraging sign from a winger that needs to get going given Boston’s offensive struggles as of late.

David Backes: A goal is a goal, right? It wasn’t pretty, but the veteran winger tallied his second goal in four games during the closing seconds of the first period, beating Jimmy Howard off of a bizarre bounce. While attempting a backhand pass along the boards, the puck ricocheted into the slot and past the Detroit netminder to make it a 1-0 game. For a winger looking for a spark on offense, Backes will certainly take it.

TWO DOWN

Power play: Boston struggled to cash in on five-on-five play Saturday, but it was also a rough night from a B’s power play that entered the tilt second in the NHL with a 29.2 percent success rate. Even with Donato’s tally, Boston struggled on the man advantage, with poor puck management and sluggish zone entries mucking up any chance for the B’s to get going against a Red Wings team that hadn't posted a win at TD Garden since 2013. It may just a blip on an otherwise stout unit, but Boston’s power play had plenty of opportunities to bail the B’s out in this one.

The refs: Just for denying us a goalie fight. I mean, c’mon, guys.

PARTING THOUGHT:

LOOKING AHEAD

The Black and Gold will head out on the road for a trek through Florida next week, starting with a tilt against the Panthers on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.