They sat just one point above the Wings in the standings entering the game.
“We know it’s a big game — they play very well here at home,” Brad Marchand said prior to puck drop. “We want to make sure we come prepared to play and really focus on doing a good job playing our system.”
Marchand the Bruins came ready to play.
The winger put Boston up 1-0 just eight seconds into the game for the fastest goal scored in team history, ripping in his 13th goal in 13 games right off the draw.
Even Marchand’s hot streak and a 3-1 lead couldn’t catapult the Black & Gold to the win. They allowed four straight Wings’ goals en route to a 6-5 loss.
Though they did battle back from being down 5-3 to tie the game at 5-5 early in the third, they couldn’t grab a point out of the high scoring affair.
“It’s disappointing,” Marchand said postgame. “I thought we did come out the right way and came out of that first period with a good lead, and it was unfortunate that we gave it up.”
“I thought we did a good job of battling back and staying in the game and playing with that confidence to come back, so it’s disappointing, the loss,” said Marchand. “But still a few games left here on the road trip and we want to make sure we make the most of it.”
Boston next heads to Columbus, before finishing off the trip in Nashville and Dallas. The first two stops in Winnipeg and Minnesota gave them 6-2 and 4-2 wins. There is still a ways to go.
Zach Trotman scored his second of the season and Loui Eriksson scored his third goal in three games to give the Bruins what seemed to be a solid 3-1 lead on the road.
Trotman’s came just 14 seconds after Henrik Zetterberg tied it up for the Wings, and gave the Bruins two goals on their first two shots of the game.
Boston used its Coach’s Challenge on Detroit’s goal, having it reviewed to see if the play was offside. The goal stood, as video evidence was deemed inconclusive.
Eriksson, who played with David Krejci and Jimmy Hayes for the game, tapped in his 19th of the season off a perfect feed from Krejci with 7:01 to go in the first. All seemed well, despite the tough call against.
Another questionable call left the Bruins with a 3-2 lead entering the second.
With Justin Abdelkader screening Tuukka Rask, he hit the puck out of the air with what appeared to be a high stick. The puck dropped down in the blue paint and Pavel Datsyuk put it home on the doorstep.
Rask immediately looked to the official.
“I guess it’s always frustrating when you get scored on a lot. I don’t know — I thought that second one was high-sticked,” said Rask. “I don’t know what you guys saw, but the ref told me the video guy upstairs said that there was no high stick so I don’t know.”
“You know, it’s frustrating, but we still had the lead and second period wasn’t our strongest.”
Just 3:13 into the second, the Wings tied it up at 3-3 when Darren Helm banked the puck off Zach Trotman’s leg and past Rask.
The Bruins had two penalties called in the second, resulting in a 4-on-3 situation for Detroit. They killed that off, and then the puck went into the netting during Detroit’s ensuing 5-on-4 power play. The whistle didn’t blow, play continued and Datsyuk potted his second of the game to make it 4-3.
“I think that’s what hurt us the most — the power play opportunities that they had, they got some momentum back from that and scored some goals,” said Julien. “And it was just a weird game, you know, from the offside that was inconclusive…so we move on and I don’t know why that second goal wasn’t reviewed by the league, because it looked like it hit the stick, so it was one of those weird games.”
“Even the other goal at the other end there, hit the glass,and hit the mesh so a lot of goals were scored today from some real questionable things, so it was tough to swallow, but at the same time, our guys battled back.”
The Wings’ goal that made it 5-3 was their best of the night — a Helm turnaround fire from the right circle.
To help change momentum, Julien replaced Rask with Jonas Gustavsson, who was between the pipes on Saturday in Minnesota.
“I don’t think we did a good enough job [in front of Rask],” said Julien. “At that point, I think we had seven shots on net and we had to wake ourselves up here and I thought when we made that goalie change, we seemed to get a little bit of life here and got a reaction, anyways, and we started playing a little harder.”
“So that was basically my point in pulling Tuukka, is we needed something to get our guys going again.”
Just 22 seconds after the switch, Dennis Seidenberg drove in his first of the season to make it a one-goal game and riled up the bench afterwards. Up until that point, the Bruins had barely put pucks towards the net in the second.
“I think the energy was there. We never gave up, which is a good thing,” said Seidenberg. “But if you have a 3-1 lead, you don’t want to give it up. You’re the visiting team in a building where they play extremely hard with a lot of speed, a lot of skill. Things happen. Did a good job of coming back, but it wasn’t enough.”
Joonas Kemppainen made it a 5-5 game early in the third for his second goal of the season, after being set up by Marchand shorthanded.
“it was nice to see [Kemppainen] get that tying goal and we were hoping that somewhere we could muster up a point there and deal with the rest, but we didn’t get to that point,” said Julien.
It marked just the Bruins’ 13th shot on goal of the game.
“We tied the game up early in the third and I think we ran out of gas a little bit at the end,” Julien said. “We had some players that have played hard here the last two games and this was a tough one for them to try and get that same energy we had.”
“But I think the fact that we were able to come back and get back in the game after being down by two goals, the way things were going, was a good sign for our hockey club.”
The Bruins played their second straight game without Patrice Bergeron, who remains on the road trip with the team and is still deemed day-to-day.
It was a good sign that they had players stepping up, and battling back, even without a leader in the lineup like Bergeron.
But the Black & Gold are going to need to buckle down on the rest of this trip, especially since they went into it with the mindset of keeping their goals against as low as possible.
“You look at your team and what you did well and what you could have done better, so that’s what we’re going to do here,” said Julien. “Have the day off [on Monday] and get ourselves ready for the last three games.”