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Bruins look to set tone again as series shifts to Detroit

by Matt Kalman


(Best-of-7 series tied 1-1)


Big story: The Detroit Red Wings accomplished what they wanted. The Eastern Conference's second wild card earned a split on the road to open this first-round series against the Boston Bruins, the Presidents' Trophy winners. The Red Wings were unable to hold down the Bruins for two straight games, as Boston bounced back from a shutout loss in Game 1 with a 4-1 win in Game 2. The two games couldn't have been more different in terms of the team that set the tone throughout, and that will be a focal point again in pivotal Game 3.

Team Scope:

Bruins: Boston has lost its last four visits to Joe Louis Arena, including two this season. The Bruins haven't won at The Joe since March 11, 2007. In bouncing back for their Game 2 victory, the Bruins set the physical tone early with some big hits from defenseman Kevan Miller and forward Milan Lucic. Physicality and defense typically leads to more scoring chances for the Bruins, and that was the case in Game 2. Now they have to apply those aspects of the game to earn a road victory.

"When you play one game, I don't think it speaks much about the series. We have to go in there and make sure we continue to do those things well," Bruins defenseman Torey Krug said. "I don't think we can say we are comfortable. I think we understand what it takes to beat these guys, and I think if we play like that we will have success this series."

With two goals allowed through two games, the Bruins are obviously doing the right things defensively. They need to keep their defensive play consistent and continue to provide goaltender Tuukka Rask and the defense with just enough offense in order to gain a lead in this series.

Red Wings: Detroit coach Mike Babcock liked his team's start in Game 2, but he was disappointed with how the Red Wings played over the last two periods. Most of all, he was frustrated with how his players allowed the Bruins to distract them from the game during post-whistle scrums. Goaltender Jimmy Howard was also disenchanted with his teammates' decision-making in that realm.

"I think we got to stay out of the [nonsense] out there and just play whistle to whistle, and not worry about getting into the scrums or anything like that and proving your manhood out there," Howard said. "Just skate, play our hockey, don't get into their [mode] and get into their scraps playing real physical. Just get back to playing our game."

In addition to staying away from the extracurricular activities, the Red Wings will need to get star forward Pavel Datsyuk free from the matchup with Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. Being on home ice should make that easier for Detroit with the second change.

Who's hot: Rask has stopped 57 of 59 shots in the series for the Bruins, a .966 save percentage. … Red Wings forward Luke Glendening scored his second career NHL goal and his first in the playoffs for their lone Game 2 tally.

Injury report: Boston defenseman Matt Bartkowski (illness) will take the pregame skate and could play. Forwards Daniel Paille (head) and Chris Kelly (back) didn't skate Tuesday and are likely out. … Detroit forward Daniel Alfredsson (upper body) will miss Game 3. Forward Henrik Zetterberg (back) and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (hand) remain out for this series.

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