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Friday, April 25, 2014

Bruins Take a Commanding 3-1 Series Lead on Jarome Iginla's 1st Career OT Winner

I would have said the exact same thing (well maybe worded a little differently) if the Bruins had lost Game 4: this was a huge result. By rallying for a 3-2 OT win over Detroit on Jarome Iginla's tip in, Boston goes back to TD Garden with a 3-1 series lead and a chance to eliminate Detroit in Game 5 on Saturday afternoon (3, NBC).

The first period was the best of the series for the Red Wings and conversely the worst for the Bruins. Niklas Kronwall gave Detroit a 1-0 lead at 11:00 with a blast from the point on the power play that Tuukka Rask (35 saves) never saw. Without Rask, the B's could have found themselves down 2 or 3-0 in the first period as Detroit outshot them 15-5.

The team that had scored first won the first three games and the odds were even more in the Red Wings' favor when they went up 2-0 at 4:27 of the second period on Pavel Datsyuk's goal. Boston finally started to wake up and they received a huge goal by Torey Krug at 10:14 on the power play. His first of the postseason was assisted by Patrice Bergeron (or should I say Mr. Selke?).

Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard was in the pregame warmups but left with the flu so he was a last-second scratch. Red Wings backup Jonas Gustavsson (37 saves) was actually really good and I feel like he earned the start for Game 5 as well. It only took 1:15 in the third for Boston to tie it up. Carl Soderberg made an unbelievable pass from behind the net to Milan Lucic out front for an easy goal. That was Looch's second of the postseason and Dougie Hamilton had the second assist.

I forgot to mention that it shouldn't have been decided in overtime since Brad Marchand missed not one but two of the easiest goals he'd ever have in his career. It was scary in the extra session that Boston dominated so much (outshooting Detroit 12-3) but thankfully, Iginla tipped in Hamilton's shot at 13:32. Believe it or not, that was the first overtime winner in the playoffs in Iginla's illustrious career. Hamilton notched another helper on it as well.

Boston has won the last three games in the series so they have all the momentum plus Rask has allowed just four total goals in four games. He made the save of the game and one of the best in the postseason by stuffing Justin Abdelkader's breakaway attempt in the first minute of overtime. The B's have extra incentive to get rid of the Red Wings since the Canadiens are sitting around and waiting for their next opponent.

UPDATE 4/25: Another day, another major award nomination for a Bruin. Today Tuukka Rask was named one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy (top goaltender) along with Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop and Colorado's Semyon Varlamov. I might be seeing this through my black and gold colored glasses but like Patrice Bergeron and the Selke Trophy, I feel like Rask is the favorite for this too.

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