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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Admit It: the Bruins Were Due For a Loss in Regulation

If you are a realist like me and a Bruins fan to boot, you realize that as good as they are this season, 15-1-1 months like they pulled off in March are insanely difficult to do. That's why tonight's 3-2 loss to the Red Wings are Joe Louis Arena was a sobering reminder that they are human and yes they can lose from time to time (this was their first regulation loss since March 1). By taking the season series 3-1, Detroit (36-26-14) served notice that they'd be a true pain in the ass in the first round of the playoffs should Boston (52-18-6) have to face them.

With a 2-1 lead midway through the third period not to mention outshooting the Red Wings by a wide margin-(35-20) was the final count-this is a game that the B's hardly ever gag away. Credit to Detroit who honestly needed this way more as they try to hold on to a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. It helped them and obviously hurt the B's that Jarome Iginla didn't play (because of either a lower body injury or simply rest for his old bones).

Johnny Boychuk gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 16:50 of the first period with one of his patented Johnny Rockets that got by former Maine star Jimmy Howard (33 saves). Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand assisted on Boychuk's fourth goal of the season.

Detroit's Tomas Tatar tied it at 4:45 of the second period just as Patrice Bergeron's penalty expired. His shot was labeled for the corner, there was nothing that Tuukka Rask (17 saves) could do about it.

The action picked up in the third period as Carl Soderberg's power play goal at 1:10 wrestled back the lead for the B's. Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith assisted on the Angry One Eyed Swede's 16th goal of the season.

The Red Wings responded as another Tomas-Jurco-tied it at 11:06 after a huge pileup in front of Rask's crease. Tatar had the primary assist from kicking the puck over with his skate, all that Jurco had to do was tap it in. Detroit benefitted 1:42 after that from the brilliance of emerging star Gustav Nyquist (who also went to Maine). He was able to steal the puck after Soderberg failed to dump it in deep and then he used his speed to blow past Zdeno Chara who was flat-footed after a sloppy line change.

Boston had won their last nine games on the road (a franchise record) and picked up a point in 16 straight (14-0-2). It's a new month now so time to start some fresh positive streaks. The Bruins get a chance to bounce back right away as they are in Toronto (37-32-8) tomorrow night (7:30, NESN). What more motivation do they need besides the fact that they can shatter the Maple Leafs' postseason dream even further?

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