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The Breakdown: Red Wings Schooled by Bruins in First Major Test

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brad marchand, boston Bruins

The Detroit Red Wings had their first major test of the season in a road game against the Boston Bruins and came away realizing they have more homework to do.

The Bruins schooled the Red Wings on the power play, scoring three times with the man advantage en route to a 5-1 triumph in the Atlantic Division match-up. The Bruins bested Detroit on the strength of special teams. Boston was 3-for-6 on the power play, while the Red Wings were 0-for-5.

The Red Wings came into the game with a 3-1-2 record. But only one of those games was against a team that qualified for the playoffs last season. The contest against the Bruins allowed the Red Wings to measure themselves against a true Stanley Cup contender.

It was a 2-1 game going into the third period, but in the final 20 minutes the Bruins’ talent, competitiveness and experience was the determining factor. The Red Wings played a quality road game for 40 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to offset the Bruins’ ability to close out wins. Boston owns the NHL’s best record of 7-1. That includes a 6-0 mark at TD Garden.

“In that third period, you kind of saw the experience on that side and a little bit of the inexperience on our side,” Detroit defenseman Ben Chiarot told Bally Sports. “They take an extra second to make a play or just making better plays under pressure. They are a really good team and we are trying to work our way up to that.”

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Bruins Are Closers

The Bruins had an extra gear in the third period that the Red Wings don’t yet possess. The Red Wings kept hitting the post and the Bruins kept cashing in on their opportunities.

“This was a little bit self-inflicted,” Chiarot said. “You can’t take penalties against a power play like that.”

Maybe this is what coach Coach Derek Lalonde was talking about when he said earlier this week: “Let’s be realistic on where we’re at.”

As if the Red Wings didn’t already have their hands full dealing with the Bruins, the Boston team was even stronger than anticipated because Brad Marchand was able to play. He had double hip surgery and wasn’t expected to return to the lineup until Thanksgiving.

Instead, he played against the Red Wings and contributed two goals and an assists. His hips looked fine. In 35 career games against Detroit, Marchand boasts 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points.

“It’s too bad the game got away from us, because we did a lot of good things in the first and second,” Lalonde said.

Facts and Observations

  1. Center Michael Rasmussen had three penalties in the game, and the Bruins scored two power play goals on those penalties.
  2. Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said his team didn’t give up a single 5-on-5 scoring chance in the second period against Boston. “That’s unheard of in this league,” Lalonde said.
  3. Detroit center Andrew Copp has had a hint of rust in his game. That was Lalonde’s assessment earlier in the week. Copp worked hard to come back early after offseason surgery. He only had six shots on goal in his first six games, and he had three shots against the Bruins.
  4. Boston center David Krejci was injured on one of Rasmussen’s penalties in the second period and was out the rest of the game.
  5. With Oskar Sundqvist out, Adam Erne played 13+ minutes and produced a goal, two shots on goal and five hits. Defenseman Olli Maatta had six hits.
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