In just over two minutes of hockey, the Boston Bruins took an underwhelming performance and turned it into a 3-2 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday.
Just 35 seconds into overtime, Brad Marchand got a breakaway on Red Wings keeper Jimmy Howard following a nice feed from Torey Krug. Marchand reached and gathered the puck off the pass, and beat Howard, giving the Bruins a win that for most of the game looked like it wasn’t in the cards.
Boston reached OT because of David Pastrnak’s goal with 1:26 to play. With the Bruins trailing by one and the net empty, Marchand had a chance to try a wrister on Howard. He instead saw a sliver of ice through the slot and Pastrnak on the other side of it. He elected to hit the 21-year-old with the pass, and Pastrnak did the rest to force overtime.
Noel Acciari had the first goal for the Bruins, which also came in the third period. Tuukka Rask earned his fifth-straight win, turning away 31 of 33 shots in the process.
The Bruins climb to 15-9-4 with the win, while the Red Wings fall to 11-13-7.
Here’s how it all went down:
DEFENSE DOMINATES THE FIRST PERIOD
Neither team could establish much offense in the first period, particularly the Bruins, who posted just two shots on net to the Red Wings’ nine. Both teams had a chance on the power play, but neither could use the advantage to their favor.
The Bruins controlled possession in the early stages and got their first power play 1:39 into the game after the Red Wings were whistled for too many men on the ice. But while they moved the puck well throughout the period, it was never put them in a prime position to shoot. When they did shoot, however, the Red Wings stood in their way, blocking four shots in the frame.
But what the Bruins couldn’t establish on the offensive end they attempted to counter it defensively. The Bruins contributed five blocked shots of their own, while outhitting Detroit 9-4 and forcing a pair of takeaways.
TATAR PUTS RED WINGS AHEAD IN THE SECOND
The first nine minutes of the second period felt similar to the entirety of the first period, with plenty of stagnant play in the offensive end for both teams.
However, Patrice Bergeron went into the penalty box at 9:02 for tripping, and it didn’t take long for Tomas Tatar to cash in and put Detroit on the board first.
Here’s another view:
After the Tatar goal, things mostly went back to the way the game had been to that point.
The Bruins did, however, piece together a much better half in terms of creating chances, putting 13 shots on net to the Red Wings’ 14.
Toward the end of the period, the Bruins began threatening more and pushing Detroit deeper into its defensive zone. Though still unable to score before the end of the frame, the Bruins’ were putting threatening pucks into the slot, creating chances and establishing more of a stable presence in the offensive end.
BRUINS RALLY, PASTRNAK FORCES OVERTIME
The Bruins finally broke through early in the third period, with persistence in front of the net paying off at 3:02 for Acciari.
The tie, however, only would last for about eight minutes.
With the Bruins on the power play, they hit a stroke of misfortune. Bergeron ripped a shot that hit off of Detroit defenseman Trevor Daley. Darren Helm gathered the puck and darted toward the blue line, and David Pastrnak met him there. But Helm found Dylan Larkin rushing up ice all alone and hit him with a pass at center ice, giving him an easy breakaway with Rask that the B’s netminder couldn’t stop.
But with hope fading and the net empty, Pastrnak extended his point streak to nine games and forced overtime thanks to a beautiful feed from Marchand.
MARCHAND WINS IT
It didn’t take long for Marchand to give the Bruins the winner in OT. After creating a 2-on-1, Krug hit Marchand with a pass, and Marchand finished with some flare to give the Bruins the win just 35 seconds into overtime.
The Bruins will play the second game of the back-to-back Thursday against the Washington Capitals. Puck drop from TD Garden is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports Images.