DETROIT -- It was the perfect time and place for Zach Trotman's first NHL goal.
The Boston Bruins overcame a two-goal, third-period deficit, and the rookie defenseman scored the game-winner in a 3-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.
The Bruins and Red Wings each have 93 points and are tied for third place in the Atlantic Division, three points ahead of the Ottawa Senators. Detroit and Ottawa each has a game in hand on Boston.
"Very excited. I don't think I could put it into words. It was awesome," said Trotman, who played college hockey at Michigan's Lake Superior State and had a group of family and friends in attendance.
Trotman's harmless-looking shot from deep in the right faceoff circle went off Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek and squirted in on the short side.
"I was just trying to shoot it on his pad and get a rebound, and it went in," Trotman said. "I was ecstatic. … It was surreal. I didn't believe it at first."
Mrazek obviously wasn't happy about allowing the goal.
"I would like to have the last one back. I thought I had it, and it just went through," he said. "Big disappointment. There was a huge two points on the line, and we didn't get any."
Carl Soderberg had a goal and an assist, and Loui Eriksson also scored for Boston (40-25-13). Reilly Smith and Brett Connolly, who played in his first game with the Bruins, each had two assists, and Tuukka Rask made 35 saves.
"They checked a lot better and made it tough," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "It took us time but we were able to make some adjustments."
Stephen Weiss had a goal and an assist, and Luke Glendening scored for Detroit (40-24-13). Mrazek made 22 saves.
"I thought we played a good hockey game. We had lots of opportunities and a good pace, probably as good a pace as we've had in a long time," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We did a lot of good things, and in the end Rask kept us from winning the game."
Detroit is 4-9-2 in its past 15 games.
The Red Wings were without center Pavel Datsyuk, who missed his second game in a row and seventh in the past nine because of a lower-body injury, right wing Erik Cole, who missed his fifth because of an upper-body injury, and right wing Tomas Jurco, who sat because of an upper-body injury.
Detroit center Riley Sheahan returned to the lineup after missing three games because of an upper-body injury.
The Bruins acquired Connolly in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning at the NHL Trade Deadline, but he broke his finger in practice right after the trade.
Boston center Patrice Bergeron played one shift in the second period but returned for the start of the third period. He was wearing a full face shield after he required 20 stitches for a cut to his face.
Glendening gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead 9:19 into the second period when he backhanded a loose puck that was lying just outside the crease past Rask and under the crossbar. It was Glendening's 12th goal.
Weiss made it 2-0 with a power-play goal 2:52 into the third period. He put in a loose puck off a goal-mouth scramble for his ninth goal.
But Boston scored two goals 2:14 apart to tie it.
Soderberg put the Bruins on the board with a power-play goal 5:05 into the third, snapping in a rebound for his 13th goal. Eriksson got his 21st goal at 7:19 when he put Smith's pass from below the goal line into an empty net after Mrazek overplayed Smith.
"After they got that second goal, something clicked and we started playing good after that," Rask said.