The Boston Bruins keep on dominating the Atlantic Division.
The Bruins earned their 12th straight win over a divisional opponent Tuesday, beating the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on the road at Little Caesars Arena.
Not only did the win continue Boston’s run of dominance against the Atlantic, but it was its third straight win and marked the final game of Brad Marchand’s five-game suspension, with the Bruins going 4-1-0 in their top scorer’s absence.
Sean Kuraly, David Krejci and Danton Heinen had the three goals for the Bruins, while Martin Frk and Frans Nielsen provided Detroit’s tallies.
Tuukka Rask made 26 saves in the win, while Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard turned away 28 shots.
The B’s climb to 32-11-8 with the win, while the Red Wings fall to 21-23-8.
Here’s how it all went down:
If nothing else, the scoreless first period displayed plenty of physicality as both teams were strong on their checking and combined for 18 hits (11 of which came from Detroit). Though the Bruins outshot the Wings 13-7, they only held their zone for nine more seconds in the period. It was clear, however, that Boston played the puck more aggressively in the first.
The Bruins went on the only power play of the first when Niklas Kronwall was whistled for hooking Jake DeBrusk at 16:08, but Detroit successfully killed it.
BRUINS FALL BEHIND … THEN CLIMB AHEAD
The Red Wings got their first power play at 1:20 after Charlie McAvoy got called for hooking Tomas Tatar, and they made the Bruins pay.
The puck slid to Frk in the left faceoff circle after making its way around the point, and the winger one-timed the heavy shot. Rask got a piece of it, but it deflected into the net.
However, the Bruins would find an answer at 12:11.
Heinen cleaned up a puck that floated toward the front of the net, kicking it out to David Pastrnak who was charging into the slot. Pastrnak then slipped a slick, no-look pass to Kuraly, who snapped the one-timer past Howard.
Just over two minutes later the Bruins took their first lead of the game.
With the second line on the ice, Ryan Spooner and Krejci executed back-to-back cross-ice passes in the offensive zone. The puck then made its way to the front of the net, with DeBrusk having the opportunity to pot it in a somewhat open net, but instead, a scrum ensued. The puck finally slipped out from in front of the crease and into the slot, and Krejci ripped it into the net for the go-ahead tally.
HEINEN CLOSE THE DOOR
The third period began with 1:42 of four-on-four after Patrice Bergeron and Justin Abdelkader received matching roughing penalties toward the end of the second, but neither team could cash in.
Detroit got a power play chance shortly thereafter due to Zdeno Chara getting two minutes for tripping Darren Helm, but the Bruins successfully killed off the penalty.
The Bruins then got a critical third goal at 8:21, with Heinen sealing the deal for Boston.
After a nice puck battle from Austin Czarnik along the boards behind the net, the puck got knocked out to Kuraly, who immediately slipped it over to Heinen. The winger snapped it past Howard for his 12th goal of the season.
With the net empty, Detroit pulled back within one when Nielsen cleaned up a rebound from a Frk shot at 18:36.
The Red Wings again pulled Howard and got another couple chances, but Rask stood tall to preserve the lead, and in turn the win, for the Bruins.
The Bruins will play the second game of a road back-to-back Wednesday against the New York Rangers. Puck drop from Madison Square Garden is set for 8:00 p.m.
Thumbnail photo via Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports Images