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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Simon Gagne Will Lead the Bruins to the Promise Land & Other Hot Takes

It took longer than it should have but the Bruins (2-3-0) finally got the job done tonight at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit (1-1-1) as they outlasted the Red Wings 2-0 in a shootout (David Krejci, Reilly Smith) for a 3-2 victory. Boston snapped a three-game losing streak and exacted some revenge on Detroit who had beaten them 2-1 at home last Thursday (sweet scheduling, bro).

Twice the B's took the lead only to have the Red Wings quickly answer. David Krejci scored his first goal of the season at 5:12 of the first period after Chris Kelly sprung him on a breakaway (something Boston is normally allergic to) and Krejci beat Jimmy Howard (37 saves).

Tomas Tatar took advantage of a turnover by Kelly to score against Tuukka Rask (18 saves) at 8:40 of the first period. Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan had the assists.

Even though they came into tonight with four goals as an entire team, Boston's second line has been pretty solid. They were rewarded for a ferocious forecheck as Brad Marchand stole the puck behind Detroit's net then moved it to Patrice Bergeron who tried a wraparound. Howard stuffed that but it popped right out to Smith who didn't hesitate to snipe it by Howard for his second goal of the season. That made it 2-1 Bruins at 13:31 of the second period.

After killing off the first three power plays successfully, Boston predictably allowed the tying goal. Maine product (so is Howard) Gustav Nyquist shot through traffic and by Rask at 2:56 of the third period.

There was plenty of time for the B's to end this earlier but Simon Gagne and Milan Lucic among others were stopped from in tight in the last minute of regulation. Speaking of Gagne, who made his Bruins debut in his 800th career NHL game, he was surprisingly pretty effective even on the fourth line with Ryan Spooner and Daniel Paille. They still don't have a legitimate top line right wing (they're still basically holding auditions every game) but Gagne over Caron and Robins is clearly an upgrade for a team that has scored six total goals (1 less than Arizona had tonight vs. Edmonton).

Things don't get any easier for the Bruins as they visit Montreal tomorrow night (7:30, NESN), the first meeting of the Original Six rivals this season. Boston played there in the preseason but that hardly counts, let's call it the first real game vs. the Canadiens since they won Game 7 last postseason at the Garden vs. top-ranked Bruins.

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