Dougie Hamilton took advantage of the Red Wings early in Game 3. (AP)
DETROIT — The Bruins took a 2-1 series lead Tuesday with a 3-0 Game 3 victory over the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Caron each scored their first career playoff goals in the win.
While the B’s and Wings were still in the third period, the Canadiens beat the Lightning in Game 4 to sweep their series. Montreal now awaits the winner of Bruins-Red Wings.
The first period saw the Bruins walk all over the Red Wings, outshooting them 11-4 and taking advantage of sloppy and lethargic play from Detroit. Dougie Hamilton got the B’s on the board by walking into the offensive zone on a power play and beating Jimmy Howard glove-side on a play that saw Darren Helm play the Boston defenseman far too generously.
Jordan Caron, who scored just one goal in the regular season, made it 2-0 when he bounced on a rebound off a rush following a Shawn Thornton shot and buried it past Howard.
The Bruins held on through second and third periods that saw the Red Wings generate more offense, with Patrice Bergeron scoring an empty net goal with 1:59 remaining. Tuukka Rask picked up his fourth career playoff shutout.
Matt Bartkowski returned to the lineup and came up big in the third period in breaking up a Kyle Quincey bid early in the third period. With Bartkowski back in the lineup, Andrej Meszaros was a healthy scratch.
Game 4 will be played Thursday at Joe Louis Arena, after which the series will return to Boston for Saturday’s Game 5.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins and Rask deserve major credit for how they’ve been able to limit the Red Wings in this series. Detroit has two goals through three games, with one of them coming off a sensational play from Pavel Datsyuk in Game 1 and the other coming off a Helm shot that bounced off bodies and past Rask in Game 2.
- The Bruins absolutely dominated the first period, though much of that has to do with how dormant a performance the Red Wings turned in early on. The B’s suffocated Detroit whenever the Wings would enter the offensive zone, giving them virtually no scoring chances and holding them to just four shots on Rask in the opening period. Detroit had a 13-minute stretch in between its first and second shots of the game. The Wings also had at least three turnovers in the defensive zone.
- Hamilton had a field day taking advantage of the Red Wings’ poor play in the first period and actually could have had a hat trick. Even before his power play goal — which saw Helm let him walk into the offensive zone with all sorts of space and fire a shot that beat Howard glove-side way too easily — Hamilton picked off a Datsyuk clearing attempt and fired a shot that rang off the left post. Later in the period, he had a chance in front after taking the puck from Helm in the neutral zone.
- Thornton deserves a ton of credit for his heads-up thinking to create the chance that led to Caron’s goal. Getting on the ice for his shift, he raced to put a hit on Brendan Smith, who dumped the puck in the zone and went for a change. When Thornton noticed the full change for the Red Wings, he looped back and drove toward the offensive zone, allowing Miller to send the puck up to him for the partial breakaway with Jakub Kindl giving chase. From there, he fired the shot that yielded the rebound on which Caron scored.
- Caron scored one goal all season, and it was against the Red Wings in the second game of the season. It’s been a long season for the former first-round pick, as he has only been used when other forwards were injured, so it’s good to see some of the offense that has eluded him in his career. That being said, the Red Wings handed the Bruins that goal.
Caron also mixed it up with Justin Abdelkader behind the net after Hamilton’s shot that hit the post. That resulted in matching roughing minors that saw Detroit lose a better player than Boston did.
- The Red Wings could have made it a much closer game in the second period when they got a 35-second five-on-three, but Zdeno Chara, Bergeron, Johnny Boychuk and Rask were able to kill it off. Detroit had gotten its first power play of the game when Brad Marchand went off for holding Gustav Nyquist‘s stick, and a bench minor for too-many-men on the ice 1:25 later gave Detroit a strong chance to cut the lead to one goal. In stopping the Red Wings on both of those and later coming up big on a third-period Kevan Miller penalty (see below), Boston’s penalty kill improved to a perfect 9-for-9 this series.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The B’s had an injury scare in the second period on a leg check from Brendan Smith on Marchand at 5:10 of the second period. Though the hit was not knee-on-knee, Marchand landed on his right knee and was slow to get off the ice. He returned to the game shortly after, however.
- The second period saw the Red Wings — thanks perhaps to the fact that they had some time on the power play — possess the puck more and spend more time in the offensive zone. The shots were even for both teams at 12 apiece in the second.
- Both teams took too-many-men penalties, and it’s unclear who dropped the ball on Boston’s. Justin Florek had gotten on the ice just before another penalty killer was getting off.
- Miller took a delay of game penalty for sending the puck over the glass from the defensive zone with 10:03 to play. That provided Detroit with a major opportunity, though the closest they came was when David Legwand fanned on the doorstep.