There was no love lost between a pair of Atlantic Division, Original Six foes Saturday night.
At one point every player on the ice had their gloves dropped, with Tuukka Rask trying to fight fellow netminder Jimmy Howard.
Here’s what various Bruins and Red Wings players had to say about the ordeal after the game, via a team-provided transcript.
Tuukka Rask, when asked if he wished referees let him fight Howard: A little bit. You need to get at least one under your belt in your career. I saw the opportunity and I know Jimmy pretty well. Big fight coming up tonight so, I feel like set the stage for that. Heavyweight.
Brad Marchand on hacking Howard: Well, he was just walking all over me, so it is what it is.
Brad Marchand on if the skirmish stemmed from Luke Witkowski’s hit on David Krejci: Yeah, it did. If they’re going to hit Krech like that, then we’re going to respond. I see it, (Joakim Nordstrom) going out and doing a great job, and then the next couple of shifts, guys were running around. (Sean Kuraly’s) line, same thing, they had a bunch of big hits, and our line, same thing. So, it just kind of woke us up.
Tyler Bertuzzi on what happened with Marchand: He hit (Nick Jensen) pretty hard so I thought I would just ask him and I was just going to go to the bench and then he slashed (Howard) so I think that was kind of where I kind of engaged and stepped in. That’s what caused it. … I mean that’s going to happen. It’s two feisty guys on the ice, we’re going to run into each other eventually and it showed tonight.
Dylan Larkin on goalies trying to scrap: Yeah, especially in a building like this, or anywhere where goalies go at it. Good for (Howard). He didn’t back down. He had a crazy look in his eyes, so who knows what would have happened.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Bruins-Red Wings game:
— It appears the trip down I-95 proved beneficial for Ryan Donato.
After making the varsity roster out of camp, Donato struggled to be productive on either end and was sent down to Providence as a result. After carving the AHL opposition, Donato received the call-up Wednesday and has performed well since. He had the shootout-winning goal in Thursday’s win over the New York Islanders, then had a game-tying goal in the third period Saturday.
Secondary scoring periodically has been an issue for the Bruins this season, and with Patrice Bergeron out, players need to step up now more than ever. Donato has terrific goal-scoring ability, and having that translate to the NHL certainly will guarantee him quality ice time with the big club.
— After missing the previous nine games with an upper-body injury, Brandon Carlo made his return to action Saturday night.
Bruce Cassidy didn’t waste any time getting the third-year blueliner involved, as he logged 28 shifts for 17:39 ice time, 2:27 of which was on the penalty kill. He had three shots on net, one blocked shot and a giveaway.
After the game, Carlo said he felt fine and that there were no issues with his conditioning.
— David Backes has struggled to get going on offense this season, but he contributed in the attacking zone Saturday.
He had a goal in the first period, and was on the ice and part of the attack on Donato’s third-period tally.
— With the win, the Red Wings snapped a streak of 11 straight losses in Boston that dated back to 2014.
— The Bruins now will head to the Sunshine State for tilts with the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.
It will be the first time this season the Bruins see either of the division foes. The Panthers sit in eighth place in the Atlantic and have been remarkably disappointing, while the Lightning own the top spot in the division and represent a great test for Boston.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images