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Florek leads way, Bruins even series with Red Wings

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- The Eastern Conference's best offense got off the mat Sunday, and now the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings is tied at one win apiece.

After being shut out in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series, the Bruins solved Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard and rebounded with a 4-1 win at TD Garden on Sunday.

Game 3 of the best-of-7 series is scheduled for Tuesday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D) at Joe Louis Arena.

The Bruins received a huge boost from scoring the first goal after not scoring in Game 1.

"We have confidence that we play a certain way and we knew we had to play the puck a little bit more. We wanted to adjust a few things and wanted to still be physical; those things lead to chances," said Boston forward Jarome Iginla, who had two assists. "So guys weren't doubting and stuff, but it's always nice to get that first one and be able to roll from there."

Fueled by a fierce forecheck, Justin Florek, Reilly Smith, Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara scored goals for Boston. Torey Krug had two assists, and goaltender Tuukka Rask stopped 34 of 35 shots.

The Bruins' power play went 2-for-4 and their penalty kill was 4-for-4.

"We didn't set up in their end," Detroit forward Daniel Alfredsson said about his team's power play. "Our breakouts, I think they read them too easily, and they did a good job in the neutral zone. Seems like we got hesitant and we weren't as assertive as we normally are, and I think that's been one of our strong suits is setting up in the other teams end. We are going to have to do a much better job of that because that's probably the difference today, the special teams."

Boston, which was third in the NHL in goals per game (3.15) in the regular season, had lost four in a row to the Red Wings, including a 1-0 loss in Game 1 on Friday. The Bruins could not afford to head to Detroit down two games. They have lost four in a row at Joe Louis Arena, including two losses there this season, and they haven't won in Detroit since March 11, 2007.

"I think that we played more of our game, and we kind of took the hesitation out of our game that I think was there in that first game," Lucic said. "So we talked about how important this game was ever since the loss. So it was good to get a response here and get the series back to 1-1."

Coming off his Game 1 shutout, Howard stopped 25 of 29 shots. Pavel Datsyuk, who scored Detroit's goal in the opener, was limited to one shot on goal. The Red Wings accumulated four roughing penalties Sunday during a game that featured many more post-whistle scrums.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock wasn't pleased with his team's lack of discipline.

"I just think you've got to decide what you want to do," he said. "Do you want to play like them or play like us?

The Bruins scored their first goal of the series 7:28 into Game 2. Howard tried to pass the puck to Brendan Smith near the right wall while both teams were changing lines. The puck missed the Red Wings defenseman and deflected off the wall to Florek for a one-timer from the dot that reached the back of the net before Howard could scramble back to the crease. It was Florek's first career playoff goal.

"I mean, honestly, I thought I rushed it," Florek said. "As soon as it hit my stick, I just turned and fired it on net, just trying to get it there before Howard could slide back was all I was thinking."

Florek's goal allowed the Bruins to play looser, and Boston doubled its lead during a power play a little more than three minutes later. The Bruins were unable to capitalize during 21 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage, but Reilly Smith won a battle in front of the net with the Bruins still up a man. After Patrice Bergeron fired a shot from the blue line and Loui Eriksson took a hack at the rebound, Reilly Smith found the puck behind Howard and tucked it in at 10:35 of the first.

The Bruins outshot the Red Wings 18-10 during the opening period.

Detroit beat Rask for the first and only time Sunday at 13:20 of the second. Darren Helm went around Iginla out high and snapped a shot from the right dot toward the front of the net. Luke Glendening had his stick down, and the puck hit off the rookie forward's stick and then his upper body before passing Rask to cut the Boston lead to 2-1. It was Glendening's first career playoff goal.

Shortly after the Bruins killed off Dougie Hamilton's tripping penalty, they went back up by two goals. Lucic gained the Detroit zone and then handed off to Iginla at the top of the right circle. Iginla found Lucic cutting to the net, and the left wing's shot had just enough on it to go off Howard and trickle into the net at 18:16 for a 3-1 lead.

Chara gave the Bruins a three-goal cushion when he stuffed in the rebound of an Iginla shot during a power play at 2:27 of the third period.

"I thought that for sure we capitalized on our opportunities," Chara said, "and it makes a big difference in the game when you score on your power plays and you're able to kill the penalties."

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