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Red Wings spank Bruins 6-1 in first of home-and-home

February 11, 2011

Todd Bertuzzi's was one of six players with at least two points in the game for the Wings. (AP)

After a very emotional and adrenaline-filled game against the Canadiens, the Bruins were in for a letdown and with the Red Wings highly motivated to win, it went just about how it could have been expected, resulting in a 6-1 Wings victory. The Red Wings exploded out of the gate for two quick goals and then used their superior skill and intelligence to control the puck possession game nearly entirely throughout the contest. Tuukka Rask gave up five goals on 19 shots before getting pulled during the second intermission. Henrik Zetterberg and Jiri Hudler had three-point nights and Todd Bertuzzi had two goals for the Wings who brought the Bruins their most lop-sided loss of the season.

One overly factor about this game was motivation. The Wings, struggling mightily in their last four games ran into the Bruins at a perfect time and made them pay early in the game. The Bruins clearly were in for a let down after some emotional games earlier in the week and it showed when the very talented Red Wings went up early. Todd Bertuzzi would open up the scoring just 1:10 into the game when he took the puck down the boards and fired a laser past Tuukka Rask to give the Wings the 1-0 advantage on their first shot. Bertuzzi’s shot hummed off the post and in, leaving Rask nearly helpless to make a save.

The goal wouldn’t wake up the Bruins however as Dan Cleary added to the lead just two minutes later. The Wings dizzying cycling and passing in the zone got the Bruins scrambling to stay in position and failed to seal middle. Cleary sprung down a lane in the center of the zone and was fed by Jiri Hudler at the top of the crease for the tap-in goal through Rask’s five hole.

The Red Wings would continue to dominate in puck possession, grinding the Bruins defense down with long shifts in the Bruins zone much to the frustration of the Bruins fans in attendance. Rask actually began to settle down and did a decent job after his early woes of keeping the Bruins in it considering the amount of time the puck spent in the Bruins zone and the scoring chances they had in the first period.

The Bruins wouldn’t do Rask any favors, taking the games first penalty late in the first period when Adam McQuaid went to the box for hooking. However, the Wings power-play was short lived as Brian Rafalski was sent off for hooking before the half way point of the power-play.

The Bruins would get the all-important third goal of the game when a Zdeno Chara changeup of a shot got Jimmy Howard off balance and Milan Lucic coralled and fed David Krejci for the easy put away. Chara’s stick broke on a one-time attempt but it ended out working out because it got Howard’s timing off. Lucic, providing a nice screen suddenly became the recipient and then dished quickly to Krejci in space, giving Krejci his first goal in 21 games.

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Despite getting back in the game late in the first period the Bruins were sleeping in the opening minutes of the second period which resulted in the Wings’ third goal, this one by Jiri Hudler. The Red Wings puck possession and poise at the blue line got the Bruins defenders to clump together in the middle of the defensive zone, leaving Hudler wide open on the weak side goal line. Henrik Zetterberg fired a hard pass to Hudler who roofed it from a knee over a helpless Rask.

The Wings would get another power-play in the middle of the period but did not produce a shot on a much better penalty-kill by the Bruins. The Bruins would get some momentum off the kill and tilted the ice back towards middle eventually earning the next power-play. The Bruins power-play nearly scored when Lucic was in the paint with a loose puck but was held up by some Wings defenders. Things nearly went south quick as Darren Helm beat Mark Recchi to a loose puck and nearly converted a shorthanded breakaway but was hooked by Recchi.

Henrik Zetterberg would put the Bruins down three goals when he jumped on a loose puck behind the net, caught it, and backhanded it over Rask all in one motion, displaying his All World hands. Todd Bertuzzi would score his second goal of the game just a few seconds later when a Pavel Datsyuk dump in was misplayed by Rask. Bertuzzi got the puck behind the net and banked it off Rask’s back for their fifth goal of the game. The two goals in 24 seconds essentially put the game out of reach.

The Bruins frustrations boiled over shortly after when Nathan Horton took a lazy retaliatory penalty when he was called for slashing much behind the play.

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Tim Thomas came in for the third period after Rask’s five goal performance on 19 shots. The Bruins would come out with a sense of desperation but the Wings suffocated any Bruins advances. The Wings were clearly the more talented team and were able to get by just fine through skill alone. Thomas was noticeably sharper than Rask, pinning down rebounds and was always in position.

Brad Marchand tied to give the fans something to cheer about when he inexplicably dropped his gloves and went after Patrick Eaves, earning himself two minutes for shenanigans. Chara would join him in the bench less than a minute later, giving the Wings a 5-on-3 for over a minute with a four-goal lead.

Tomas Holmstrom would put the Bruins down by five when he camped out in his office in front of the net and Jiri Hudler found him with a little space in the crease from behind the net for the five-hole goal.

The Bruins would get a power-play in the last minute, looking for anything to hang their hat on to but quickly gave the chance up and got booed off the ice in doing so.

The two teams will finish their home-and-home on Sunday afternoon.

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