DETROIT - The Bruins saw their six-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday afternoon in Detroit with a 3-1 setback to the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.
"It's one of those things that throughout the course of an 82-game season it's gonna happen," said Patrice Bergeron. "We had our looks, our chances. That being said, we can be better defensively. We can defend better. There's a lot of things we could've done better, there's a lot of things that we've liked…but we didn't get the result."
More notes and observations from the B's loss to the Red Wings:
Overall, the Bruins believed they played well enough to win on Sunday afternoon, but an 0-for-4 showing on the power play and some missed opportunities - including a misfired Chris Wagner one-timer that trickled wide of an open cage in the closing minutes - left Boston lamenting a solid effort gone to waste.
"We thought mentally that would be the biggest challenge [with the back to back]…this game I thought we were the better team," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "I thought we beat ourselves tonight…there was a lot of things that added up against us tonight. Part of that is certainly on us. I give Detroit credit for winning the hockey game, but I don't think they were the better team."
Torey Krug, who tied the game at 1 just 33 seconds into the third period when he finished a beautiful feed from David Pastrnak, pointed to special teams as the difference. Detroit cashed in on the man advantage when Andreas Athanasiou potted the eventual winner 7:10 of the third period, while the Bruins went scoreless on the power play, including an extended 5-on-3 opportunity (1:18) in the first period.
"I thought we were skating well, made a lot of good plays out there, power play was probably a factor, obviously wanted to be able to get one to help the team out," said Krug. "Their power play scored, so that's the difference in the game. I think most guys felt good and pushed through…I thought for the most part we stuck to what we've been doing the last few games.
"Even though it was a tough schedule, we skated, we were moving well, guys held on to the puck in the offensive zone, making a lot of plays. We had a lot of good looks."
Video: BOS@DET: Krug buries Pastrnak pass crashing the net
Detroit goalie Jonathan Bernier (39 saves) also made a number of stellar stops, including two point-blank denials of Brad Marchand during Boston's first-period 5-on-3.
"That's what he does. He's paid to stop the puck," said Cassidy. "We made plays around him, we didn't finish them. They're open nets. You've got to bear down and finish them…play inside the posts. I thought our forwards didn't do a great job of that early. As the game went on, we did a better job of getting to the crease."
The Red Wings, despite holding the NHL's worst record, have now beaten the Bruins twice in regulation this season."I don't know," Krug said when asked to describe the struggles against Detroit. "Their goalie seems to play well when we play him. He was feeling it tonight. Even when he couldn't see the puck it was finding a way to hit him. He played well. Defensively, they clamped down and it seems like they get really excited to play us.
"For whatever reason, it's a tough matchup for us. I don't think we really sank too far down. We played all right. Just got to find a way to get the puck in the back of the net."
Video: BOS Recap: Six-game winning streak ends for Bruins
Halak A Late Scratch
Jaroslav Halak was scheduled to make the start and led the Bruins out to the ice for warmups but ended up as a late scratch with an upper-body injury. During the game, the Bruins announced that the netminder was not feeling well but was a possibility to back up and play if necessary. Tuukka Rask ended up in net for the second straight game and made 17 saves.
"He has an upper-body injury that we assumed was fine. He played with it Wednesday, practiced," said Cassidy. "It flared up today and with a 12:30 game, it didn't allow a lot of time to prepare so Tuukka had to go in..
"He felt that he wasn't gonna be able to give us 100 percent. It's not a position you can play at 70 or 80 percent, so Tuukka went in. Tuukka played well. Unfortunately, we weren't able to pick up some goals for him."
Video: Bruins Speak To Media After 3-1 Loss in DET
All Night Long
The Bruins had a goal wiped off the board following an offside challenge - stop us if you've heard that one before - in the second period. As Boston tagged up during a delayed offside, Patrice Bergeron was exciting the ice through the door inside Detroit's zone negating Marchand's tip of a David Pastrnak shot that would have tied the game at 1.
"It's the rule, so it's one me to get off the ice," said Bergeron. "It's something that we all know. I usually get off on the right side of the blue line. On that one, I wasn't thinking the puck was far, but it was great transition by us and I've got to get off the ice."
While the Black & Gold were frustrated to see another goal taken away, they were far more annoyed by the process, as the review lasted nearly five minutes.
"Listen, I think it would be good for you guys to write a nice story about how great that is for the NHL and NBC," said a clearly peeved Cassidy. "How long did we wait to decide? How long? Someone must've [tracked it]…so it takes that long to find out?
"You know my feeling on that. Not a big fan of the procedure or the rule. But it came back - surprise, surprise - against us. Tonight, we could've used it."
Video: Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins) with a Goal vs. Detroit