Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three

Bruins dominate Red Wings, take 2-1 series lead

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The Boston Bruins are really starting to look like the team that easily topped the Eastern Conference and grabbed the Presidents’ Trophy in the process.

After Jimmy Howard shut them out to give the Detroit Red Wings a Game 1 win, the Bruins have been dominant in swinging the series back to a 2-1 lead in their favor. After winning 4-1 in Game 2, the B’s actually were even more impressive as the series shifted to Detroit in Game 3 on Tuesday, winning by what might have been a forgiving 3-0 score.

Maybe some of it has to do with the Red Wings’ exhausting run to even clinch a playoff spot. They’ve only been able to score two goals in the series so far: Pavel Datsyuk’s game-winner in Game 1 and a Luke Glendenning tally in the second period of Game 2.

Long story short, things have been pretty lopsided since that Datsyuk shot beat Tuukka Rask.

One might say that the Bruins seem as bemused by the Red Wings’ efforts as Zdeno Chara was with Brendan Smith’s “threats” in Game 2.

Even with all these negatives, the Red Wings are only down one game and get a chance to tie things up at home in Game 4. This Detroit team made a living proving people that they can overcome long odds during this 2013-14 season, so counting them out would be foolish.

Still, at this moment, Boston seems very much in control of this series.

WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings (Game 3)

Zdeno Chara, Brendan Smith
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After the Detroit Red Wings’ dramatic 1-0 win in Game 1, the Boston Bruins cruised (relatively speaking) to a Game 2 win to tie up the series. Tuesday’s game will determine which team grabs a 2-1 lead as the series shifts to Detroit. Check that game out on NBCSN or via the live stream link below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

One lineup note for Boston:

With three playoff games staggered in half-hour intervals (before overtime might even make things complicated with Game 3 of the Los Angeles Kings – San Jose Sharks series), you may want a little road map of what airs where. Here it is:

Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens (Game 4, 7 p.m. ET) – NHL Network

Bruins at Red Wings (Game 3, 7:30 p.m. ET) – NBCSN, CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers (Game 3, 8 p.m. ET) – CNBC – CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Should be a long, fun night of playoff action. You might want to keep your computer/tablet/fancy phone handy to watch as much of it as you can …

Get your game notes: Bruins at Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings v Boston Bruins - Game Two
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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.

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— 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.

Bruins handle Red Wings 4-1, tie series 1-1

Justin Florek, Tomas Tatar
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After losing a tight Game 1 thanks to a nice Pavel Datsyuk 1-0 goal, the Boston Bruins raced out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and cruised to a 4-1 win on Sunday, tying their first-round series 1-1 with the Detroit Red Wings in the process.

The Bruins generated that early lead thanks to firsts as Justin Florek and Reilly Smith scored for Boston. (It was a big Sunday for the Smith family, as Brendan challenged Zdeno Chara to end the first period.)

After the Bruins’ strong start, the Red Wings dominated much of the second period, yet the teams traded goals as Milan Lucic matched Luke Glendening’s efforts. (Those who wanted a Lucic suspension probably bristled.)

A power-play goal from Chara basically locked it up at 4-1 in the third period, giving the Bruins a win that’s relatively easy (at least compared to these early 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs games).

The series now shifts to Detroit tied 1-1. All things considered, the Red Wings are probably glad to split the first two games against the Bruins (who won the Presidents’ Trophy this season). Many believed that this could be a much tougher series than the usual top vs. bottom seed fair, and even with two very different games in mind, that could very well be the case.

WATCH LIVE: Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins (Game 2)

Tuukka Rask
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The Detroit Red Wings aren’t a Wild Card team that can be easily dismissed and they proved as much in Game 1 when they held their own against the Boston Bruins until Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk broke the scoreless tie late in the third period.

Now down 1-0 in the series, the Bruins obviously need to find a way to beat Jimmy Howard and will be looking to their top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Jarome Iginla to lead the charge. The trio was limited to a combined four shots on goal in Friday’s contest.

“We believe in ourselves and each other. One game isn’t going to change that,” said Iginla, per CSN New England. “We have to find ways to create more, and get more zone time. We have to find ways to battle through it a little more. Its playoffs and we’re prepared to do that.”

The game will start at 3:00 p.m. ET and will be on NBC. Alternatively, you can stream the game online:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Related:

Red Wings focus on staying out of penalty box

Lucic fined $5,000 for spearing DeKeyser

Alfredsson praises ‘outstanding’ Howard after shutting out B’s