The real Boston Bruins stopped by TD Garden on Easter Sunday and walked away with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of their first round series. Few are sure who those imposters in black and gold were that showed up in Game 1, but now the series is tied, 1-1, with the teams going to Detroit starting on Tuesday for Games 3 and 4. Four different Bruins scored goals Sunday and Tuukka Rask made 34 saves while Boston’s power play added two goals and the penalty kill unit was four-for-four.
“We tried to do the simple things,” said Bruins defensemen Johnny Boychuk when asked about any adjustments from Game 1 to Game 2. “We’re not trying to complicate it. I thought we battled harder for the puck than the first game and that was the key to the game. When we play that style, it gives us more room to operate.”
Two of the more unlikely Bruins gave them an early 2-0 lead in the first period with their first career playoff goals. Justin Florek took advantage of a terrible clearing attempt by Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard (25 saves) then Reilly Smith was able to put in a rebound on the man advantage. Detroit battled back with a much stronger second period, where it outshot Boston, 13-6, and the Red Wings cut it to 2-1 on Luke Glendening’s first career postseason goal (a fluky bounce that went off his body).
Milan Lucic’s goal with 1:44 left in the second was huge for Boston as it totally swung the momentum back in the home team’s favor. The strike came on the same shift where he took a hard spill into the boards, which he said he required stitches for on his foot. Zdeno Chara’s net-front presence enabled Boston to seal it with another power-play goal early in the third.
What they'll be saying: Scoring the first goal for the Bruins was a big factor, especially in the first period after Howard had earned the relatively easy shutout in Game 1. The fact that their first two goals came from Florek and Smith should bode well for Boston as many players that are non-stars have stepped up when the B’s have been at their best in the past.
At the same time, it was meaningful to see both Lucic and Chara - two of their core players and leaders - also get on the scoresheet with meaningful goals. Rask has only allowed one goal in the first two games of this series yet he’s 1-1. In net is perhaps the biggest advantage that the Bruins possess over the Red Wings. Howard played well down the stretch for the Red Wings to get them safely in the postseason, but he had a very uneven 2013-14 as a whole.
Boston is 19-16 in Game 3s when its is tied, 1-1, in a best-of-seven series with an all-time series mark of 22-13 when they have been tied 1-1. Detroit is 18-21 in Game 3s when they are tied 1-1 with an all-time series mark of 21-18 when they have been tied 1-1.
Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille and Matt Bartkowski remained out but Kevan Miller made his NHL playoff debut. As Jarome Iginla pointed out, Miller set the tone from the start with a couple big body checks. Miller played 19:52 and he was credited with four hits and two blocked shots in addition to one takeaway. He is certainly an upgrade over Corey Potter, who took a seat in the press box after being called into action for Game 1.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter:@RichSlate