Final: Detroit 6, Boston 1
Recap: The Wings were the better team right from the get-go in Wednesday's nationally-broadcast-unless-you-live-in-NESN-territory contest, and that simply never changed at any point in their eventual runaway victory. Justin Abdelkader got the ball rolling with a goal midway through the first period, as Detroit outshot Boston 11-7 in the opening frame.
In the second, the B's put three pucks on net. The Wings put that many in the net, getting goals from Tomas Tatar, captain Henrik Zetterberg and defenseman Niklas Kronwall.
Tuukka Rask and the Bruins returned in the third for the final 20 minutes of the beatdown, surrendering two more tallies (Drew Miller, Gustav Nyquist). Jarome Iginla scored a meaningless goal with 2:25 left that did nothing other than ruin Jonas Gustavsson's shutout bid.
Records: Detroit 12-7-7, 31 points; Boston 16-7-2, 34 points
Key Play of the Game: When Nyquist banked a shot off a sliding Torey Krug that went off the Michigan native, past Rask and into the back of the net to make it 6-0, all you could do at that point was laugh and tell yourself something positive, like, "the sun will come out tomorrow," even if the forecast says otherwise.
Connolly's Commendations: "You cannot be serious!"
OK, OK. I'll cave in. Adam McQuaid made it through this one intact, surviving his first game back from a lower-body injury and finishing with an even plus-minus rating. Hooray.
Connolly's Critiques: Tough night for Carl Soderberg, who came into this one red hot. The Swedish forward was held without a point and finished with a team-worst minus-3 rating, despite barely seeing over 10 minutes of even-strength ice time. He came up empty-handed in 2:27 of power play time.
The road continues to be unkind to Zdeno Chara, who has just two points in 10 tilts outside of TD Garden. His partner, Dougie Hamilton, has now gone 10 games without a point. Both finished minus-2.
Another ho-hum performance from David Krejci. The first-line center has just two points in the last eight games, and only one shot in the last two contests. Boston needs more from the Czech pivot.
Notes: Tatar's goal was his third of the season. Abdelkader's was his third of the season. Kronwall's was his third of the season. Nyquist's was his third of th... jeez, the Wings sure had a lot of guys stuck on two goals coming into this game.
Final Thoughts: This was a flat-out spanking, a pounding, a romp, all at the hands of a team missing its leading goal scorer (Pavel Datsyuk) and in a pretty grim funk (2-3-5 last 10 games), especially on home ice. But, these games are bound to happen sometimes. That shouldn't make Claude Julien pause when it comes to cracking the whip and punishing his troops for their nonexistent effort in this one, but I think the B's have earned a reprieve from their critics, thanks to their 8-1-1 run heading into Wednesday's clash at Joe Louis Arena.
Next: The B's will be back at it on Friday when they take on the Rangers at 1 o'clock.