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Datsyuk, Howard give Wings upper hand on Bruins
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pavel Datsyuk's goal with 3:01 to play was the first and only marker of the game as the Detroit Red Wings surprised the Boston Bruins with a 1-0 victory in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Detroit came into the game as the second wild card, its 23rd straight trip to the postseason, and faced a tall task in playing the Presidents' Trophy- winning Bruins in front of their home crowd.
Through disciplined play and a 25-save shutout from Jimmy Howard, the Red Wings now have a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven series.
"Obviously you want to get in and you want to establish yourself in the series especially when you're the lower seed," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "Sometimes when the upper seed gets the upper hand right away you start questioning whether you're good enough. We know we're good enough but it's one thing to know you're good enough and another thing to show you're good enough."
Boston came into this series as a heavy favorite and received 23 saves from Tuukka Rask, but couldn't solve Howard and has now lost home-ice advantage.
"There weren't any secrets in tonight's game. Both teams played tight...don't think there was any surprise out there today," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "Everybody's got to find a way to create more, and that's going to be the challenge in this series."
Game 2 of this series will take place at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon.
Shortly after Howard kept Boston off the board with a tough stop on a Milan Lucic tip down low, the Red Wings took the puck the other way.
Johan Franzen picked up the puck in his own zone and was able to push it towards Datsyuk, who reached behind to pull the puck forward and skate into the zone down the right side.
Skating towards the middle and approaching the left circle, Datsyuk used a screen to send a low wrister that went under the glove of Rask and into the right side of the net for his 37th career playoff goal.
"We know we need to shoot everything," said Datsyuk. "They shoot everything and you know it's a game one-shot different. I just shoot and actually we make a nice play on the blue line."
Boston pulled Rask with over a minute to play for an extra attacker, but was unable to get any pressure as Detroit held on and skated off the ice to a quiet TD Garden.
There was a lot of action through the first two periods, but no goals as Rask stopped 16 shots through 40 minutes, while Howard countered with 16 saves during the two frames.
Howard kept the Bruins off the board early in the third period, as he made a left pad on a Brad Marchand shot less than a minute in after Marchand forced a turnover in the Detroit zone.
It was Rask's turn just over two minutes later when he made a great right pad save on a Darren Helm turnaround shot down low.
Boston got its first and only power play of the game after Tomas Tatar was called for interference at 5:17, but Howard kept the game scoreless by stopping Loui Eriksson down low and a rebound chance by Shawn Thornton a bit later during the advantage.
Howard has three career shutouts in the playoffs ... Datsyuk had played just 45 games this season due to injuries ... The last time these Original Six foes met in the postseason was in 1957. The Bruins have taken four of the seven postseason series against the Red Wings ... Detroit took three of four from Boston in the regular season.
04/18 23:59:25 ET