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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bruins Begin to Assert Their Dominance over Red Wings with 3-0 Win in Game 3

You won't find a much more impressive or thorough road win in the NHL playoffs than the one turned in by the Bruins tonight in Game 3 of their first round series vs. Red Wings. Boston won 3-0 at Joe Louis Arena to take a 2-1 series lead. The B's have won the last two games and outscored the Red Wings 7-2 overall in the series. Tuukka Rask made 23 saves for his fourth career postseason shutout but truthfully, he didn't have to stop too many spectacular shots besides Justin Abdelkader's backhander in the third period.

Boston never really let Detroit get comfortable as they scored two goals in the first period. The Bruins continued their theme of different players stepping up every game as Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Caron (seriously) potted the first two tallies. Through the first three games, seven different Bruins have scored all their goals.

Hamilton's came on a rush at 9:00 when Detroit gave him way too much space so he roofed a shot past Jimmy Howard (31 saves). Reilly Smith and Patrice Bergeron had the assists. Every Bruins fan has made fun of Caron numerous times or just gotten tired of ripping him so it was nice to see him actually make a nice play. He came off the bench for a line change and bolted right to the net so he was there for the rebound after Shawn Thornton's shot at 15:48. It was his first career playoff goal. Kevan Miller had the second assist.

Much like the second period of Game 2, the Red Wings started to wake up in the second 20 minutes but they weren't able to score so it didn't matter all that much. With the way they dominated puck possession and in terms of quality scoring chances, the B's probably should have won by four or five goals. Patrice Bergeron's audacious empty-netter (from inside his own blue line) at 18:01 sealed it.

Red Wings fans took off after that so when the final whistle blew, the stands were nearly empty. The remaining stragglers were left stunned by the Bruins. Game 4 is on Thursday (8, NESN) and needless to say it is the most important one so far in the series. If Boston wins, I think they'll definitely close out Detroit in five at the Garden on Saturday. If Detroit wins, buckle up because this would probably go seven games. What's better than playoff hockey?

That killer strain of the flu that numerous Bruins picked up finally seemed to have left as Matt Bartkowski played in his first game of the series. That meant that Andrej Meszaros went back to where he belongs-as a healthy scratch in the lineup.

UPDATE 4/24: The three Selke Trophy finalists were named today: Bergeron, LA's Anze Kopitar and Chicago's Jonathan Toews.

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