October 14, 2013

Gustavsson steps in, leads Wings to win over Bruins

By Jesse Connolly

Jonas Gustavsson shined in his season debut against the Bruins in Monday's matinee. (Getty Images)

Final: Detroit 3, Boston 2

Recap: After a fast-paced start in which the Bruins held a noticeable edge in scoring chances, it was Detroit that got in the board first. Henrik Zetterberg tucked a shot under Tuukka Rask's arm after a nice dish from Pavel Datsyuk set him up. Boston tied the game up late in the frame, with Loui Eriksson redirecting a shot from the point by Johnny Boychuk past Jonas Gustavsson.

In the second, Johan Franzen sent a pass through the offensive zone to Stephen Weiss, who ripped one from the bottom of the faceoff circle past Rask to give the Wings a 2-0 lead. Later, Daniel Alfredsson hit a streaking Dan Cleary with a feed from behind the net. He buried it to make it a 3-1 game.

Milan Lucic gave Boston some hope with 1:20 left in the third, as he notched his third tally of the season, but the Bruins couldn't get the equalizer. 

Records: Detroit 4-2-0, eight points; Boston 3-2-0, six points

Key Play of the Game: Down 3-1 with a little less than five minutes gone in the third, the Bruins drew two penalties in the span of seven seconds, giving them 1:53 of 5-on-3 time to work with. They couldn't find twine, and missed the net on far too may shots during the critical two-man advantage.

Connolly's Commendations: He might not have registered a point, but Brad Marchand played his best game of the season thus far. No. 63 remained on the third line alongside Chris Kelly and Reilly Smith after finishing there on Saturday in Columbus. He had a few good bids from the off wing that required solid stops from Gustavsson. Marchand finished with four shots -- second most among all skaters on the afternoon.

You have to love the start Lucic is off to this season. His goal today was No. 3 on the year. He had seven in 46 games last season.

Connolly's Critiques: Overall, it was a rough afternoon for Boston's defense, which had a tough go of it covering Detroit's wealth of gifted forwards. Zdeno Chara's woes were the most glaring. He got burned on the first goal by Datsyuk's speed and was left standing still when Alfredsson set up the Wings' third tally. 

Notes: Lucic's goal was No. 100 of his NHL career. ... Rask allowed more than one goal for the first time this season. ... Jimmy Howard was slated to start for Detroit but was pulled right before game time due to a hand injury.

Final Thoughts: As expected, the Wings were leaps and bounds better than their last appearance at the Garden, when they were playing for the third time in four nights. Boston's now scored just two goals in the last two home tilts, both of which came against a backup making his first start of the season. Obviously, in those scenarios, you'd expect better results.

Next: The Bruins will head to Florida to take on the Panthers Thursday night.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com