The Bruins welcomed the Red Wings to the newly formed Atlantic Division with a 4-1 beating at TD Garden on Saturday night. Detroit (2-1) was playing their third game in four nights so they understandably weren’t up their usual high level of play but that shouldn’t take away from an excellent effort by Boston that included two power play goals and 25 saves by Tuukka Rask. In their first two games of the 2013-14 season, there isn’t much to complain about as the B’s have scored seven goals and allowed only two while facing some of the more talented offensive players in the NHL (Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg).
Playoff star Torey Krug scored his first regular season NHL goal, fittingly on the power play, in the first period to give Boston a 1-0 lead. Detroit tied it later in the period with a goal by Zetterberg. 36 seconds into the second period, Brad Marchand ripped a wrist shot off the post and in. Jordan Caron was rewarded for another fine performance with a goal later in that period. Zdeno Chara wrapped it up with a power play goal in the third that would easily make it onto his career highlight reel: after Krug intercepted the puck in Detroit’s end, Chara backhanded it past Jimmy Howard (33 saves) which resulted in Detroit’s goaltender smashing his stick in two then tossing it toward his bench.
Boston is off until Thursday, plenty of time to enjoy the Patriots and Red Sox, before they host the Avalanche (7, NESN). That is the final game of this season-opening three-game homestand. Colorado (2-0) is rebuilding but they have the No. 1 pick-forward Nathan MacKinnon-and head coach Patrick Roy who flipped out against Anaheim in the first game of the season (see YouTube) so they are worth watching.
What They’ll Be Saying: We are going to hold off on any grand statements two games into the campaign but you have to be happy with Boston’s third line and their power play unit-two of their biggest weaknesses last season. The trio of Chris Kelly, Reilly Smith and Jordan Caron have been the Bruins’ best line so far with Kelly scoring on the penalty shot vs. Tampa Bay, Caron scoring vs. Detroit and Smith picking up a nifty backhand assist on that goal. A couple simple tweaks to the power play seem to have worked wonders. Moving Zdeno Chara down low has proved to be a good choice: to screen the goalie, retrieve pucks and also save his legs. Jarome Iginla hasn’t found the net but he had some good chances vs. Detroit so you know he’ll score soon. Finally, Torey Krug has been stellar on the backline since he’s so mobile and has a quick release on his shot (something allergic to most Bruins defensemen). It’s a very long season but you reasonably couldn’t ask for much better games by the B’s vs. the Lightning and Red Wings.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat reporter Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate