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Saturday, 19 April 2014 02:54

Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings Take Game 1 Over Boston Bruins

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BOSTON – There may have been 15 wins, 24 points, and six other Eastern Conference teams separating the top-seeded Boston Bruins and the eighth-seeded Detroit Red Wings in the regular season, but Friday night's Game 1 was proof that there isn't much separating the two teams in the playoffs.

 

Pavel Datsyuk made a beautiful stick-handling move by three Boston Bruins' defenders, finding a seam to fire a shot past goalie Tuukka Rask for the only goal of the game as the Detroit Red Wings took a 1-0 series lead over the B's with a 1-0 victory.  Rask stopped 23 of the Wings' 24 shots on net, but was bested by opposing goalie Jimmy Howard, whose 25 saves garnered him his third career playoff shutout. 

After a fury of back-and-forth play on both ends, Datsyuk and teammate Johan Franzen raced up ice.  Franzen passed the puck to Datsyuk in close quarters at center ice, and Datsyuk demonstrated his great hands with a gorgeous move that freed him up for the game-winning goal.  The pass from Franzen was behind Datsyuk, and the Wings' forward dragged his stick from behind his back straight through his body to pull it in front of him in one quick motion.  Datsyuk took the puck into the Bruins' end, criss-crossing with teammate Justin Abdelkader to free up his shooting lane and create even more traffic for Rask to try to see the puck.  Datsyuk fired a quick wrist shot past Rask's glove side for his 37th career playoff goal. 

The goal came after a great chance by the Bruins, as Milan Lucic's redirection attempt was deflected by Howard and squirted just wide of the Detroit net.  Jarome Iginla took the initial shot, with Lucic crashing the front of the net creating traffic.  The puck deflected off Lucic's stick, traveling off the left pad of Howard but still making it behind the net minder.  The scoring chance was a culmination of a strong late third period effort by the Bruins, with the third line of Loui Eriksson, Carl Soderberg, and Justin Florek having some quality shifts as the period went on.  Florek just missed the net on a quick wrist shot from close range earlier in the period, while Eriksson was particularly aggressive on his forecheck throughout the game.

The Wings had the best chance of the game earlier in the third period, as Darren Helm looked like he had an open net to fire in a rebound chance.  Jakub Kindl fired a slap shot from the left point onto Rask, with Helm crashing the net and collecting the rebound.  Rask was able to slide across the net and stick out his right pad to make the sprawling save on Helm, keeping the game scoreless.

Florek, along with Corey Potter and Andrej Meszaros, was inserted into the lineup to replace three Bruins' starters who were unavailable due to injury or illness.  Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Kevan Miller, and Matt Bartkowski were all scratches for Boston.  Kelly missed the final three regular-season games with back spasms, while Paille sustained an upper-body injury against Buffalo last Saturday afternoon in the home finale.  Miller and Bartkowski had undisclosed ailments, but they were part of the seven players missing from practice earlier this week with the flu bug circulating the Bruins' locker room.

Game 2 is an Easter Sunday matinee in Boston, with Games 3 and 4 moving to Detroit on Tuesday and Thursday night.

Adam Belue

My name is Adam Belue, I'm from Fall River, MA, and I'm a sports fanatic.  I'll watch and write about just about any and every sport, even the fringe ones that aren't really sports like bowling, poker, and ultimate frisbee.  I'm a huge Green Bay Packers fan, and a self-proclaimed New England Patriots hater (and proud of it!)... which makes my job in a sporting goods store quite interesting.  I'm a big fan of the other local teams (Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics), along with the Alabama Crimson Tide and college football as a whole.  I may be a bit obsessed (or a lot obsessed) with Taylor Swift, and I've seen her in concert four times so far... some of the best times I've had by the way her concerts are quite the experience!  I'm also a huge tennis fan, and have played the sport for a good majority of my life.  I wish more people watched and appreciated tennis.  I'm currently a part of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox Beat Team on CLNS Radio, and post a weekly fantasy football and college football column during the season.