Detroit Red Wings v Boston Bruins - Game Two

Get your game notes: Bruins at Red Wings


Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Detroit Red Wings hosting the Boston Bruins starting at 7 :30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— Boston’s Game 2 win snapped a four-game losing streak to the Red Wings this season. The Bruins were 2-4 on the power play Sunday and are now 5-10 in their last four games, dating back to the regular season (50%). The Red Wings failed to score on any of their four power play opportunities Sunday and are now 1-19 in their last six games, dating back to the regular season (5.2%). For the series, the Bruins are 2-5 on the power play and the Red Wings are 0-6.

— Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask picked up his 22nd career playoff victory, stopping 34 of 35 shots Sunday. He led all goaltenders during the regular season with a total of 26 starts in which he allowed no more than one goal. Rask has not allowed more than a goal in either playoff game and has a .966 save%. The Finnish goalie also won his second game against the Red Wings this season and first against them since a 4-1 victory in Boston October 5. In his two wins against the Red Wings this season, Rask faced 30.5 shots/game, while only 24.75 in his four losses.

— Since moving from Olympia Arena to Joe Louis Arena in 1979, the Red Wings have won four Stanley Cups, while making two other trips to the Stanly Cup Final. During their runs to the Stanley Cup Final in 2008 and 2009, the Red Wings posted a 20-4 home record (83.3 win % — 9-2 in 2008; 11-2 in 2009). But since then, they have gone 10-8 in the last four postseasons at the Joe (55 win %). During the 2013-14 regular season, Detroit had the fewest wins at home of any of the 16 playoff teams, while Boston was 23-12-6 away from home (63.4 pts%), the NHL’s third-best points percentage.

— When losing Game 1 and winning Game 2, Boston has won 12 of those 20 series. Since the Bruins returned to the playoffs in 2007-08, they have been involved in three such series, winning two and dropping the most recent — last year’s Stanley Cup Final against Chicago.

— Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara closed the scoring Sunday with a power-play goal, recording his 55th career postseason point, fourth among all active NHL defensemen.

— Through the first two games of each playoff series, every team except for Boston and Detroit had conceded at least 5 goals. Boston, which allowed the second-fewest goals of any team during the regular season (2.08 goals/game) has only allowed two, while Detroit, 16th in the league in goals against per game (2.70), has allowed 4 goals.

— The two coaches in this series are among the winningest coaches in terms of playoff success since 2003.


— Detroit’s four leading scorers from the regular season — Daniel Alfredsson (49 pts), Niklas Kronwall (49 pts), Gustav Nyquist (48 pts), and Henrik Zetterberg (48 pts), who is out with a back injury — have yet to register a point in this series. While the three veterans have well-established postseason careers, Nyquist has yet to make such an impact in the playoffs. The 24-year-old forward, who closed the season with 24 points in 24 games since the Olympic break, has 5 points in 20 career playoff games.

DiMaio named Blues’ director of player personnel

via St. Louis Blues
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The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.

He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.

He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).

In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.

No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?

Hitchcock going to more aggressive attack for Blues

Ken Hitchcock

ST. LOUIS (AP) After three straight first-round playoff exits, the St. Louis Blues have learned to temper expectations.

They have been consistently among the NHL’s best in the regular season and realize it is past time to build something for the long haul. The sting still lingers from the latest failure, against the Minnesota Wild last spring.

“We’re all disappointed, everybody can agree on that,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “It’s never easy to kind of think about your failures, but we grow every time it happens.”

Management isn’t ready to tear it all down yet.

“We play, in my opinion, one of the toughest if not the toughest division in the NHL, and we’ve finished first or second in the last four years,” forward Alexander Steen said. “So we have an extremely powerful team.”

Maybe a change in strategy will be enough: Coach Ken Hitchcock is back with a mandate for a more aggressive, even reckless, style of play from a roster that hasn’t changed appreciably.

“We’re coming hard from the back and we’re coming hard to see how close we can get to the attack,” Hitchcock said. “I think it’s where the game’s at; I think it’s where the game’s going to go.”

The 63-year-old Hitchcock is pushing forward, too, unwilling to dwell on the flameouts. Coach and players agree that would be “wasted energy.”

“My opinion is when you sit and think about the past, you do yourself no good,” Hitchcock said. “If you learn from the past, that’s when you do yourself a whole bunch of good.”

There were only two major roster casualties. Forward Troy Brouwer came from Washington in a trade for fan favorite T.J. Oshie. Defenseman Barret Jackman, the franchise career leader in games, wasn’t re-signed.

“If you were expecting 23 new faces to be on the roster this year, I don’t think that was realistic,” captain David Backes said. “We’re going to miss those guys in the room and on the ice, but there has been some changeover and I think it’s pretty significant.”

Things to watch for with the Blues:

GOALIE SHUFFLE: Just like last year, there’s no true No. 1 with Brian Elliott and Jake Allen sharing duties. The 25-year-old Allen missed a chance to seize the job last spring when he failed to raise his level in the playoffs.

TOP THREAT: Vladimir Tarasenko had a breakout season with 37 goals and was rewarded with an eight-year, $60 million contract. The 23-year-old winger is by far the Blues’ most dangerous scoring option and said he won’t let the money affect his play. “I never worry about it,” Tarasenko said. “If you play good, you play good.”

NEW FACES: Brouwer and center Kyle Brodziak add a physical element that was perhaps lacking a bit last season. Brouwer has three 20-plus goal seasons and Brodziak, acquired from Minnesota, fills a checking role. Veteran forward Scottie Upshall got a one-year, two-way deal after being coming to camp as a tryout. Rookie forward Robby Fabbri, a first-round pick last year, will get an early look. Another promising youngster, forward Ty Rattie, begins the year at Chicago of the AHL.

RECOVERY WARD: Forward Jori Lehteri bounced back quickly from ankle surgery and opens the season without restrictions. Another forward, Patrik Berglund, could miss half of the season following shoulder surgery.

TRACK RECORD: The Blues won the Central Division last season and Hitchcock, fourth on the career list with 708 regular-season wins, has consistently had the team near the top of the standings. “He is our coach, tough cookies if you don’t like it,” Backes said. “From my experience, he puts together one heck of a game plan.”