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Monday, April 21, 2014

Bruins Even Series with Convincing 4-1 Win in Game 2

It only took one period (or more accurately half of one) for the Bruins to show that Friday was probably a mirage and they more closely resemble the squad that rolled to a 4-1 win over the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden. Boston evened the series at one heading back to dumpy Detroit for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday (7:30, NESN) and Thursday (8, NESN) respectively. The B's depth, top notch goaltending and superb special teams all added up to a relatively easy victory.

Just like the real Bruins appeared in Game 2, the true Jimmy Howard (25 saves) also made his presence felt. His brutal pass in a Detroit defenseman's skates led to an easy goal for Boston rookie Justin Florek at 7:28 of the first period. Fellow rookie Reilly Smith scored 3:07 after that on a power play (the first of two for Boston). He was on the doorstep and was able to sweep in a rebound, assisted by Loui Eriksson and Patrice Bergeron on his first career NHL postseason goal.

The normally stoic Red Wings clearly lost their cool, capped off by Brendan Smith (Reilly's brother) yapping with Zdeno Chara to end the first. Haha what was he thinking? He's just likely the linesman stepped in before Chara made like a National Geographic movie and destroyed him. All he could do was smile and laugh. Detroit cut it to 2-1 at 13:20 of the second period as Tuukka Rask's (34 saves) rebound deflected in the net off of Luke Glendening's body.

No worries, Boston bounced right back with a very timely goal by Milan Lucic at 18:16 to regain their two-goal advantage. He finished a pretty passing sequence with Jarome Iginla and Torey Krug. Zdeno Chara's power play goal at 2:27 gave the B's a nice cushion in the third period. Iginla and Krug each picked up their second assists on Chara's goal that came after the captain parked right outside the paint vs. Howard and knocked in a loose puck. Boston's penalty kill is a perfect six-for-six this series including four-for-four in Game 2.

We know that there will be a Game 5 back at the Garden on Saturday, the question is if either team will be trying to eliminate the other that day. Rask has only allowed two total goals so he has to be feeling pretty good about himself. Kevan Miller returned for Game 2 and he definitely brings another physical dimension to Boston. Game 3 is another important one that could go a long way towards determining who takes this series and in how many games.

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