Yesterday was Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings. This matchup proved to be an interesting one because the only team that the President’s Trophy winning Bruins lost 3 games to in the entire regular season was the Red Wings. After 56 minutes of back and forth, hard fought action, Pavel Datsyuk made an amazing through the legs move and ripped a beautiful wrister past Bruins goalie Tukka Rask’s glove side to break the stalemate with 3:01 left to play (Assisted by Johan Franzen). This goal wound up being the deciding factor in Detroit’s 1-0 win over the heavily favored Bruins. Jimmy Howard stopped all 25 shots that came his way, outdueling Rask who also had a great game, stopping 23 out of the 24 shots he faced.
This game was a perfect example of a goaltending battle, with chances going back and forth throughout the whole game. In the modern day NHL, these games are hard to come by, making this series an intriguing one (the other series were scoring an average of just over seven goals per game).
Boston had their share of opportunities such as a power play late in the third, however they were unable to convert on this due to some stellar goaltending by Howard. Howard had several amazing saves such as one late in the third period while the game was still deadlocked 0-0 where he reached out with his glove and got just enough of the puck to deflect it wide of the net as it trickled through the crease.
Detroit also had its fair share of opportunities as they had 2 power plays but also were unable to convert due to some great defensive plays by the rock solid defense of the Bruins. The Bruins outhit the Red Wings 34 to 26. The three stars of the game were 3. Tukka Rask, 2. Jimmy Howard, and 1. Pavel Datsyuk. This game was one of those games where teams just needed to grind it out for as long as they could, get bodies to the front of the net, and hope that they can finally get one past one of these outstanding goaltenders. We’ll be looking forward to Game 2 of this exciting series on Sunday.