The Detroit Red Wings
' offensive problems vanished in a blizzard of goals at TD Garden.
Todd Bertuzzi and Danny Cleary scored on Detroit's first two shots in the opening 3:10 and the Wings dominated the listless Boston Bruins 6-1 on Friday night.
The six goals were a welcome sight for a team that that had lost its last three games by a combined score of 12-4.
"We played with a lot more sense of urgency," Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "You could tell from the puck drop that we wanted to score. I think it showed that we were going after pucks and getting pucks at the net."
The early goals by Bertuzzi and Cleary appeared to take all the life out of the Bruins, who were coming off an emotional, fight-filled 8-6 win against archrival Montreal on Wednesday night.
Two nights later, that emotion was nowhere to be seen.
"We watched them because I think we were flat," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "We weren't skating tonight. We were second on the puck, and even when they had the puck I just felt that they had lots of time to make plays. We were very slow reacting."
Bertuzzi scored two goals, Henrik Zetterberg and Jiri Hudler each had a goal and a pair of assists and the Red Wings had three goals in the second period after David Krejci scored for Boston late in the first to make it 2-1.
Despite their second loss in six games, the Bruins remained three points ahead of the second-place Canadiens in the Northeast Division. Detroit increased its lead in the Central Division to seven points over the Nashville Predators, who beat them 4-1 on Wednesday night.
"We think we've got a good hockey team," Wings coach Mike Babcock said, "but we weren't playing like a good hockey team."
The Wings came to Boston for the start of a home-and-home series with the boos of their fans ringing in their ears after a 4-1 loss to the Predators on Wednesday.
"It was a bit of an eye-opener for us," said goalie Jimmy Howard, who was yanked after allowing four goals on 16 shots against Nashville. "That's not the way we want to perform for our fans. They deserve better."
The only goal he allowed Friday was Krejci's first in 21 games, but the Red Wings regained control in the second period when Hudler, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi all beat goalie Tuukka Rask, who was lifted in favor of Tim Thomas.
"I deserved to get pulled," Rask said.
By the time he left, the Red Wings led 5-1 with 3:22 remaining in the second.
"I think everyone just needed to go out and play and stop thinking," Bertuzzi said. "I think when we're at our best we're relaxed, we're calm and we're just letting the play happen."
Bertuzzi began the scoring 1:10 into the game when he took a pass from Zetterberg and scored off the right post. Two minutes later, Cleary scored his 17th goal of the season on a pass from Hudler, who fed the puck from behind the net and into the slot where Cleary had gotten behind defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
Krejci scored a power-play goal at 17:53, but the Wings wasted little time blowing the game open in the second. Zetterberg's backhand pass set up Hudler's sixth goal at 1:09, a one-timer past Rask from the right corner of the crease.
Zetterberg's 17th goal made it 4-1 at 16:14 of the second when he ended Detroit's 0-for-18 power-play streak. Bertuzzi then got his 10th goal at 16:38 as Rask mishandled a puck to his right, leaving it behind the net. As Rask scrambled back toward the crease, Bertuzzi shot the puck off the back of the goalie's pad and into the net.
"When you don't have your legs and when you have a team like that that has very good puck control possession players and defensemen that really move the puck well it makes you look flatfooted," Boston's Mark Recchi said.
Tomas Holmstrom finished the scoring with his 12th goal on a power play with 6:09 left in the game.
"They played their game," Boston forward Patrice Bergeron said. "We weren't even close to playing half of what we can play."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report