It took an unexpected eleven games, but the Bruins were finally handed their first regulation loss of the season on Saturday night.
Facing the Red Wings for the second time in a week, Boston couldn’t hold a third period lead in Detroit and fell 5-4. The Bruins were missing Charlie McAvoy in the rematch, who was the First Star in Boston’s 4-1 win on October 28th. McAvoy is currently serving a four game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Florida defenseman Oliver-Ekman Larsson.
It was looking to be a repeat performance for Boston early on, with two goals in the first ten minutes. Van Riemsdyk tucked home a loose puck dropped by Detroit goalie Ville Husso and Matthew Poitras added to his burgeoning highlight reel. For both scorers, their first period goals were their fourth of the year.
Detroit would respond with a pair of power play goals to tie the game midway through the second. Lucas Raymond was left wide open at the faceoff dot to calmly beat Ullmark high-glove just before the intermission. Then Jake Wallman blasted a shot by Ullmark’s ear with one second left on the man advantage to tie it.
Boston retook the lead soon after with a slick combo play from Coyle and DeBrusk. It was a big goal for both forwards, who’ve started the year slowly but now have points in three straight. The Bruins would hold the 3-2 lead into the third before the dam would eventually burst.
Detroit put the Bruin under siege in the third period, registering fourteen shots on goal.
Michael Rasmussen nearly leveled the score four minutes in, if not for Brandon Carlo swatting a floating puck away from the empty net. Dylan Larkin would eventually net the tying marker, bodying past Parker Wotherspoon and beating Ullmark on the backhand. Just two minutes later, David Perron found space in the slot to beat Ullmark five-hole and take the lead. The onslaught continued when Andrew Copp stashed home a rebound after J.T. Compher hit the crossbar.
Detroit’s three third period goals all came in a four-minute span and put the game beyond reach.
Pastrnak drew one back on the power play with five minutes to go, but Detroit held on for the victory.
The Good: Matthew Poitras. The rookie center continues to produce and is confirmed to be sticking around with the big club. His goal and assist in this game gave him seven points in eleven games and is still one of the teams best play drivers in all situations.
The Bad: Charlie McAvoy was sorely missed on Saturday night. Mason Lohrei had a sterling debut against Toronto, but according to @HockeyStatCards on twitter, he was the worst Bruin on the ice. Wotherspoon, Shattenkirk and Mitchell did not grade out well either.
The Ugly: Little Caesars Arena bizarrely holds some kind of voodoo magic against the Bruins. Despite the Red Wings struggles over the last half decade plus, they dominate Boston at home. The B’s are just 1-6-1 in Detroit since the 2018-19 season.
Boston has a quick turnaround, heading to Dallas to take on the Stars Sunday Night.
Photo: Carlos Osorio / AP