The Boston Bruins are increasingly looking like the team they always knew they could be.
Boston leapfrogged the Red Wings in the Atlantic Division standings Sunday with a 5-1 win over Detroit at Little Caesars Arena. The Bruins, who still have five games in hand on the Red Wings, now own fourth place in the division.
Goals from Patrice Bergeron, Erik Haula, Charlie McAvoy, Trent Frederic and Tomas Nosek paced the Bruins. Tyler Bertuzzi had Detroit’s goal. Jeremy Swayman turned away 22 shots for the Bruins.
The Bruins climb to 16-10-2 with the win, while the Red Wings fall to 15-15-3.
You can check out the full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
The Bruins are showing just how good they can be when they get contributions from their depth players.
In Saturday’s win over the Buffalo Sabres, it was Craig Smith, Nick Foligno and Taylor Hall. Smith was buzzing again Sunday as the first line right winger, but it was Haula who really turned heads in the win. Promoted to second-line center ahead of the weekend, Haula was on a heater Sunday, scoring on an absolute snipe in the second period. He nearly added another later in the frame, but rattled it off the post.
Connor Clifton was lining guys up for big hits. Oskar Steen, called up from the taxi squad, had multiple high-danger chances. This, clearly, was the vision Don Sweeney had when he built this Bruins team over the summer. The wins over Buffalo and Detroit have only underscored how potent the Bruins can be offensively when guys not named Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak get going.
STARS OF THE GAME
— As previously mentioned, Haula was flying all over the place.
— It was clear that part of the Red Wings’ gameplan was to keep Marchand off the ice. They did that effectively, forcing him into seven penalty minutes, but he was impactful when on the ice. Perhaps his biggest contributions came on the penalty kill, an area he’s established himself as one of the best in the NHL.
— Bergeron, who has a tendency to play well against the Wings, had a vintage showing. He scored in the first period while also winning 15 of his 18 face-offs.
— McAvoy felt like throwing his weight around Sunday. He was standing guys up with some regularity, and bringing what sure felt like extra edge in his puck battles in the corners. It was a commanding showing from Boston’s top blueliner, who capped off his afternoon with a goal.
DraftKings Sportsbook had the Bruins at -156 on the moneyline Sunday. A $100 bet on the B’s would have paid out $164.10.
UP NEXT ON NESN
After consistent starts and stops, the Bruins’ schedule is now getting more consistent. They’ll next play Tuesday at TD Garden against the New Jersey Devils. Puck drop from Boston is set for 7 p.m. ET on NESN, with pregame coverage beginning at 6.