NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, April 22nd (All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (1-1) at Detroit Red Wings (1-1), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After splitting the first two games of a best-of-seven series, the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings will fight for an edge in Tuesday's Game 3 battle in the Motor City.
Detroit stunned the defending Eastern Conference champions with a 1-0 win in Boston to open the series, but the Bruins responded with Sunday's 4-1 triumph on home ice.
The Bruins, this season's Presidents' Trophy winners, seemed to play their physical brand of hockey in Game 2, using their size advantage over Detroit to even the set at one game apiece.
After taking 25 shots in Friday's 1-0 loss, the Bruins had 18 shots in the first period alone in Game 2 and led 2-0 at the 20-minute mark. Despite taking a total of 11 shots over the second and third periods, the Bruins were able to hold a lead the rest of the way.
Justin Florek snapped top-seeded Boston's scoreless drought in the first period Sunday after Jimmy Howard came out of the net to clear a puck
Florek, 23, was recalled from Providence of the AHL on Tuesday, just two days after he had been sent down. The winger had one goal and two points in four regular season games -- his first in the NHL -- but was the first Bruin to solve Howard in the series after 67 minutes and 28 seconds.
It was a case of being in the right place at the right time -- near the left circle when Howard came way out of his net as a puck trickled into the slot. Howard sent the puck off the boards to his right but it deflected right to Florek, who fired the puck just past Howard's outstretched pads as the goaltender scrambled to get back.
"It was a good present there," Florek said about his first career postseason marker. "It was good to get the team going. I think that was the biggest thing -- get some momentum in the building. So that was a big start for us."
Reilly Smith, Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara also scored and Tuukka Rask made 34 saves, letting in just the one goal after a shot hit off Detroit center Luke Glendening's glove in the crease.
Jarome Iginla and Torey Krug each had two assists for the Bruins.
"I think we were a little bit better in all areas, from our breakouts with their pressure to the neutral zone, where we were able to get through that with a little bit more speed today than we did the last game," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "So we were able to put pucks in areas where we were able to get on them quick or get to the pucks first."
Detroit head coach Mike Babcock criticized his club for trying to match the Bruins' physicality in Game 2. The Red Wings, who had the NHL's fourth-fewest penalty minutes (725) during the 2013-14 regular season, were whistled for seven minors on Sunday after taking just one penalty in the opener.
Boston went 2-for-4 on the power play in Game 2, while Detroit was 0-for-4. The Bruins had just one power-play opportunity in getting shut out by Howard on Friday.
"I just think you've got to decide what you want to do. Do you want to play like them or play like us?" Babcock said about his club's lack of discipline. "I just looked at the sheet here; we had one, two, three, four roughing calls. We haven't had four roughing calls this year. So you've got to do what you do, not what they do."
Poor discipline in Game 2 aside, the underdog Red Wings got what they needed from their first two road games in this series. Detroit will now try to take control of the set on home ice, where it has defeated Boston in each of the last four meetings.
Detroit, however, was only 18-13-10 at Joe Louis Arena this season, while Boston had a stout 23-12-6 road record.
The Red Wings will play without Daniel Alfredsson on Tuesday, as the veteran forward is being held out due to an upper-body injury and will be replaced in the lineup by fellow Swede Joakim Andersson.
The 41-year-old Alfredsson has no points over two games in this playoff series, his first for a team other than the Ottawa Senators. Alfredsson had 100 points (51 goals, 49 assists) in 123 postseason games with the Sens, who he had spent his entire NHL career with before signing with Detroit last summer.
This series is the first playoff meeting between the Bruins and Red Wings since the 1957 Stanley Cup semifinals. The clubs spent decades playing in opposite conferences before Detroit moved to the East as part of the NHL's realignment plan for the 2013-14 season.
04/22 11:21:42 ET