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League-Worst Red Wings Defeat League-Leading Bruins

Detroit hosted the Division-leading Boston Bruins for a Sunday matinee. Jonathan Bernier got the start for the Wings while Tuukka Rask was between the pipes for the B’s.

Boston had a very lengthy five-on-three advantage late in the first period, Bernier held his ground, stopping four shots while Boston held the zone consistently. He would see a lot of action throughout the first 20 minutes, as shots were 12-6 in favor of the visitors.

The Bruins were riding a six-game winning streak coming into the game, becoming the first team this season to reach the 80 point mark (a margin of 50 points over the league-worst Wings).

2:07 into the second, Brendan Perlini scored his first goal as a Red Wing (in just his 30th game with the team). Adam Erne assisted, his second assist and fourth point in 48 games this year.

Later, Brad Marchand redirected a slow-moving shot from David Pastrnak to tie the game at one. Or so it appeared. A long review process began to examine for off-sides. The officials then ruled that a Bruins forward was in fact off-sides, and the goal was overruled.

Detroit finished the middle frame with some really good pressure. Good cycle play and passing but few actual shots.

Boston stormed back in the first 30 seconds of the third however. Michigan-born defenseman Torey Krug scored on a cross-crease pass from David Pastrnak after he faked Bernier into thinking he would shoot initially.

Shortly after, Justin Abdelkader had the perfect chance to re-take the lead, as Givani Smith backhanded a pass through the legs of a Boston defender, but he waited too long to take the shot and the puck went wide off the edge of his stick. It was a sure-fire goal if he makes contact on the play, as Rask was not in position to make a save. It’s not hard to see why he is now the only forward without a goal this season through 40 games.

Andreas Athanasiou scored on a tic-tac-toe play on the PP still in the first half of the third. Dylan Larkin retrieved the puck from the corner and passed it to Tyler Bertuzzi who quickly relayed it across the goal to the awaiting double-A who quickly found twine.

Athanasiou also added the empty-netter with 28.1 seconds left.

It was a highly improbable victory for this Detroit team, given their many woes this season. But defeating the league’s best team is something they can be proud of and build off of. Needless to say, Detroit wants to get the first pick of the draft, but a win here and there for confidence never hurts, especially when the win is against the Boston Bruins.

Bernier continues to have a great 2020, stopping 39 of 40 shots, including four shots from the lethal Pastrnak. His record now stands at 11-14-2 through 28 starts (2.89, .908) while Jimmy Howard has gone 2-21-2 through 25 starts (3.98, .889).

Detroit has three more contests this week: Tuesday @ Buffalo (7:00 ET), Thursday @ New Jersey (7:00), and Saturday @ Boston (1:00).

Kevin Sporka

Kevin Sporka

Kevin Sporka is the Senior Media Analyst and Detroit Red Wings beat writer at HOHM. He is also the author of the Fantasy Hockey Fridays, In Retrospect, Milestone Monday, and Legends By the Number segments.
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