TD Garden played host to an Original Six matchup Saturday night, and it sure felt like old-time hockey.
The Detroit Red Wings beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 in a spirited, physical affair between Atlantic Division rivals.
In a game that featured a minor brawl, a fight and a combined 45 hits, Frans Nielsen’s goal tip-in goal at 11:53 of the third proved to be the winner.
Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Gustav Nyquist (empty-net) had the other goals for the Red Wings, while David Backes and Ryan Donato provided Boston’s two tallies.
Tuukka Rask made 23 saves for the Bruins, while Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard turned away 38 shots.
The Bruins fell to 14-8-4 with the loss, while the Red Wings climbed to 12-11-3.
Here’s how it all went down.
It took the B’s 19:56 to get on the board, but better late than never.
With the clock winding down in the opening period, Backes skated to a loose puck along the boards near the face-off circle, and immediately backhanded it toward the net in hopes of getting it to John Moore, who was at the far post. Instead, it deflected off the stick of Dennis Cholowski and past Howard with 3.8 seconds left in the frame.
It was Backes’ second goal of the season, even though Cholowski gets a stick tap for making it happen.
Not long into the middle stanza, the Red Wings got one back.
After receiving a pass from Niklas Kronwall, Mike Green threw a shot toward the net from the point that hit Michael Rasmussen, then Bertuzzi, and went in. Rasmussen originally was credited with the goal, but it later was changed to Bertuzzi at 5:45.
The Red Wings nearly potted another shortly thereafter, with Bertuzzi flipping a puck past Rask. But Rask ended up on his back and lost his stick as a result of a collision with Thomas Vanek, and the call was overturned after Bruce Cassidy challenged for goaltender interference.
In the final moments of the period things started getting physical. Luke Witkowski leveled David Krejci, and Joakim Nordstrom responded by fighting Witkowski. Then later in the frame a skirmish broke out between the two sides, which nearly resulted in Rask and Howard fighting.
As a result of the melee, the Red Wings went on the power play. It didn’t take them too long to cash in, either.
With traffic in front of the net, a puck got thrown toward Rask, and after it bounced around for a moment, Dylan Larkin stepped in and buried it to give Detroit the 2-1 lead.
DETROIT CLAIMS THIRD, AND GAME
The Bruins leveled things fairly early in the third period.
With Danny DeKeyser in the box for high-sticking, the Bruins displayed sound passing as they entered their offensive zone. David Pastrnak finally slipped the puck over to Donato, who rifled a missile past Howard to tie the game at a pair.
A little over six minutes later, Detroit got the lead back.
DeKeyser ripped a shot from the left point, and Nielsen put a great deflection on it to get it past Rask.
Not for a lack of trying, the Bruins were unable to tie things up once again, despite creating some good scoring chances.
Nyquist put things away with 26.6 seconds left, with Nyquist scoring an empty-netter from just beyond the red line.
The Bruins will head to Florida for two games in the Sunshine State beginning Tuesday against the Panthers. Puck drop from BB&T Center is set for 7 p.m. ET.