The Boston Bruins began their quest for the Cup on Friday night at TD Garden and it was the Detroit Red Wings who walked away as Game 1 winners. Detroit outdueled Boston, scoring in the waining moments of the final period. They prevailed 1-0.
If one thing was made clear in this series opening tilt, it was that the difference in seeding between these clubs is an irrelevant factor. The Red Wings qualified for the playoffs as a wild card team and the Bruins as the NHL’s number one seed.
Both teams stressed that point during the week and then engaged in a hardnosed, physical, step-for-step defensive battle.
Pavel Datsyuk potted the game-winning goal with just 3:01 left to play in the third period. “The Magician” as they call him, scored a goal that caught Tuukka Rask off guard. Datsyuk fired a shot from the leftwing slot area and Rask did not see it coming. Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader had created traffic in front that impaired the view of Rask.
Rask was respectable in net and his play, as usual, positioned the Bruins in a spot to grab a win. He stopped 23 of 24 shots.
The Bruins were forced to play without four key players in the loss. Kevan Miller and Matt Bartkowski, both of whom are top four defenseman, were unable to dress because of the flu. Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly were also inactive due to injury.
The Bruins and Red Wings will go at it again on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.