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.

Dougie Hamilton took advantage of the Red Wings early in Game 3. (AP)

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.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

DETROIT — Matt Bartkowski is back in the Bruins lineup for Game 3 of the first round against the Red Wings.

Bartkowski missed the first two games of the series due to a stomach flu. His return means that Andrej Meszaros will sit after playing the first two games in Bartkowski’s place.

DETROIT — Matt Bartkowski is back in the Bruins lineup for Game 3 of the first round against the Red Wings.

Bartkowski missed the first two games of the series due to a stomach flu. His return means that Andrej Meszaros will sit after playing the first two games in Bartkowski’s place.

Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly both remain out for the B’s. Paille is recovering from a suspected head injury while Kelly hasn’t played since April 8 due to a back issue.

The forward lines are the same for the Bruins, while Joakim Andersson being in for Daniel Alfredsson is the only change to Detroit’s lineup.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Pierre McGuire of NBC Sports joins the program to talk about Game 3 between the Bruins and the Red Wings. He also discusses the issue of targeting player and weighs in on Matt Cooke's vicious knee hit to Tyson Barrie.
Justin Florek

Justin Florek

DETROIT — Last year, the Bruins saw one Michigan negative play their way into a job during the postseason in Torey Krug. Might they be in the process of seeing another?

Well, that depends on the definition of “job.” Justin Florek has filled in for Chris Kelly admirably in the first two games of the postseason, scoring a fluke goal but also playing very well five-on-five and killing penalties. While Florek won’t be stealing Kelly’s job any time soon, it’s entirely possible that his play could make him the team’s 13th forward over Jordan Caron, if that isn’t already the case.

With both Kelly and Daniel Paille out, Florek has played in place of Kelly on Carl Soderberg‘s line, while Caron has played on Gregory Campbell‘s line in place of Paille. Though Caron was with the Bruins throughout the season and Florek spent much of the year in Providence, it would appear that Florek has become a better option to play in different roles. For what it’s worth, both Caron and Florek are restricted free agents at season’s end.

Florek, who is in his second full professional season, is just happy to be playing playoff hockey. If what he does now sets him up for more of an opportunity going forward, that’s gravy.

“I don’t think about it at all really,” Florek said of playing his way into an NHL role. “I just go out there and play my role. I just do what I can to help my team win and whatever happens happens. It’s just kind of the way I’ve approached my career the way long. I’m just going to continue to play that way.”

Florek, like Caron, has had to play in different roles with the B’s this season. Florek played well on the fourth line earlier in the season, picking up a goal and an assist in a three-game sting in January, and he’s also looked good on a more skilled line with Soderberg and Loui Eriksson.

“I feel comfortable playing both roles. At the same time, I just go out and play my game,” Florek said. “[Regardless] of who I’m playing with, I’ve just got to play my game and not get outside of it or do too much. Playing with those guys is great. No matter what line I’m on, I feel comfortable with [them]. Hopefully I can continue to play that way.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Torey Krug knows the kind of player that Luke Glendening is. (AP)

Torey Krug knows the kind of player that Luke Glendening is. (AP)

DETROIT — There’s something about Luke Glendening.

At least there is for Mike Babcock, and that’s really all that matters as the Red Wings try to find a way to both quiet Boston’s scorers and create advantageous matchups for their own.

The first two games of the series saw Babcock use Glendening — an undrafted rookie fourth-line center who had actually played three games on a tryout with the Providence Bruins two years ago — in ways that demonstrated significant trust in the player. Glendening, who was a two-year captain for Michigan and wore an ‘A’ as a sophomore, is a key member of Detroit’s penalty kill, but also saw plenty of shifts against David Krejci‘s line in the first two games. He scored his first career playoff goal and second career NHL goal in Game 1 against the Krejci line and was later on the ice for Milan Lucic‘s goal.

If you’re surprised by how big a role he’s been given thus far, don’t be. Torey Krug, who saw plenty of him in college, isn’t.

“I’m not surprised and we don’t even view him as [a fourth-liner],” Krug said. “He’s a good player and he shuts down opposing teams’ guys. In Game 1 he’s out there when it’s 1-0 in the last minute. I saw him in that role before and I’m not surprised that he’s in it now.”

As the series shifts to Joe Louis Arena and Babcock gets last change, he wants to see more of Glendening against Boston’s best players. Babcock wants to get his young scorers, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Jurco, away from Boston’s power forwards, as Lucic and Jarome Iginla have rendered them invisible through the first two games.

Assuming he tries to get Pavel Datsyuk, who has had just three shots on goal this series, away from Patrice Bergeron and instead against Krejci’s line, Babcock may very well go with Glendening against Bergeron’s line.

“Pavel will either play against [Bergeron] or Krejci,” Babcock said Tuesday morning. “It doesn’t matter as much to me; it matters more to me about the other match ups. Glendening will play against either one of those two and then we’ll have the other guys against the other guys.”

That’s a lot of faith to put in a first-year NHL player. Yet Glendening seemed to hold his own when he saw Krejci’s line in the first two games (he mostly played against Carl Soderberg‘s line and Gregory Campbell‘s line), but getting regular minutes against some of the best players in the NHL will be a major test.

Then again, he’s passed all his tests so far under the creative Babcock.

“Luke’s ultra-competitive, a skater, heavy — used to be a football player — loves the contact, loves being a greaseball,” Babcock said. “He plays hard, draws other guys into the battle and has a great hockey sense. Very competitive.”

Though Glendening is new to the NHL, he isn’t new to a lot of the Bruins’ players. He’s one of six players from Michigan playing in this series, and he played plenty of college hockey against Justin Florek (with whom he would briefly be teammates in Providence) and Krug.

Both Krug (Michigan State) and Glendening were undrafted players, but both recall playing against one another in college and knowing the other was destined for the NHL.

“When you saw him in college, he would take over games,” Glendening said of Krug. “We played them a few times and it was the Torey Krug show. He was a great player there. I’m not surprised at all that he’s done so well for himself.”

Said Krug: “He’s just a guy you respect. He plays a 200-foot game, he’s a strong guy, you can’t underestimate him. He does everything well. There’s nothing he does poorly.”

As for what could have been with Boston, Glendening said that if he could do it all over again, he might not have signed with any team at the end of his college career, but instead waited until after the summer to re-assess.

“Obviously, coming from college I didn’t really know what to expect of the pro game,” Glendening said. “I probably would say it wasn’t the best move on my part. I probably wasn’t ready. I probably needed a summer off before, just to prepare for what was coming. But it was a neat experience. I learned a lot. I guess it all worked out in the end.”

Babcock clearly has the utmost confidence in the 24-year-old, and as the series goes on his increasing role could either be potential mismatch on which the B’s could capitalize or a sign that Boston missed out on a pretty important player.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

DETROIT — There will be different personnel in Tuesday’s Game 3 between the Bruins and Red Wings, but not necessarily on Boston’s end.

DETROIT — There will be different personnel in Tuesday’s Game 3 between the Bruins and Red Wings, but not necessarily on Boston’s end.

Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson will be out of the lineup Tuesday, with Joakim Andersson filling in on Detroit’s second line with Darren Helm and Tomas Jurco. Alfredsson is believed to be dealing with a back issue, with Mike Babcock saying the veteran forward “needs another day.”

As for the Bruins, Matt Bartkowski took part in Tuesday’s morning skate and will be on the ice for warmups. Bartkowski was not made available to the media and Claude Julien was tight-lipped about his status, declining to comment on whether Andrej Meszaros would stay in the lineup once Bartkowski was healthy enough to play. Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly did not participate in morning skate.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Loui Eriksson's stats don't always tell the story. (AP)

Loui Eriksson’s stats don’t always tell the story. (AP)

When the Bruins traded for Loui Eriksson, one of the most common words associated with him was “underrated.”

He’d been a 36-goal scorer and one of the better two-way players in the game, but because of his responsible style and the market in which he’d played, the narrative was that he didn’t get the credit he deserved while playing for the Stars.

So, when Eriksson was traded to Boston in the Tyler Seguin deal, he went from being underrated to facing some lofty expectations. Eriksson struggled to find chemistry with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron early and suffered two concussions during his first regular season in Boston, and as such finished with just 10 goals and 27 assists for 37 points in 61 games.

Two games into the playoffs, however, the Bruins are getting a combination of the player they saw after returning from his first concussion — a player that was finding his way and providing a great blend of finesse and smarts in front of the net — and the player who was playing more confidently down the stretch on a line with fellow Sweden native Carl Soderberg.

Reilly Smith knows Eriksson as well as any of his teammates, as the two played together in Dallas before being sent to Boston as the two main pieces acquired by the B’s in the Seguin trade. In Sunday’s Game 2 against the Red Wings, Smith capitalized on Eriksson’s netfront work by jumping into the crease and knocking the puck into the net to give the B’s a 2-0 lead. It came on a power play that followed the expiration of the first penalty of a 5-on-3, but Boston still had its 5-on-3 unit with Eriksson in front on the ice. That goal stood as the game-winner as the B’s went on to claim a 4-1 victory.

That wasn’t Eriksson’s only contribution. The Red Wings haven’t scored against his line and he has been a major part of a penalty kill that has limited the Red Wings to just two shots on goal — none of which have gone in — on six power plays.

In a series that has seen the Red Wings hold the puck plenty, Detroit players have had the 16 best 5-on-5 Corsi (shots attempted while on ice) percentages (Eriksson’s linemate, Justin Florek, is 17th). Yet Eriksson has the second-best CorsiRel (5-on-5 Corsi percentage relative to when he isn’t on the ice) in the series, trailing only Detroit’s Riley Sheahan, who has held his own playing against David Krejci‘s line.

With no goals through the first two games, perhaps Eriksson is back to being underrated. That’s the way it’s been all season, according to his teammates.

“Loui is unbelievable, and I don’€™t think he probably gets the credit he deserves here,” Smith said. “You know he’€™s an unbelievable player, and just because he’€™s been out of the lineup due to injuries this year I think he kind of gets looked over. But he’€™s an ultra-talented guy, and you know as soon as he gets the puck he’€™s doing something special with it.” 

Eriksson was expected to play on Bergeron’s line this season and form an offensively potent unit that was extremely difficult to score against. Though Smith eventually took the job from Eriksson during Eriksson’s recovery from his second concussion, Bergeron saw what kind of player Eriksson was even when the offense wasn’t coming. Bergeron saw a really smart two-way guy who wasn’t going to cheat for the sake of goals.

It takes one to know one.

“I think he’€™s a terrific player,” Bergeron said. “He’€™s always at the right spot. He’€™s got a great hockey IQ, I guess. He’€™s making some great plays that are often going unnoticed. But for us as teammates we see them and it goes a long way.

“I think we saw him and we keep seeing him and right now he’€™s skating well and he’€™s making some great plays offensively,” Bergeron added, “but he’€™s keeping with those great plays defensively.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean