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Wings snap Bruins' 10-game win streak in shootout

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins were trying to move closer toward making history Friday. Instead, the Detroit Red Wings turned the home team's winning streak into history.

The Red Wings used goals by Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi in the shootout and a 41-save performance from goaltender Jimmy Howard in regulation and overtime to snap the Bruins' winning streak at 10 games with a 3-2 victory at the TD Garden.

Now it's Detroit that is officially streaking -- the Wings have won four in a row.

"We had a little bit of a good start, then we kind of slowed down, then we went up the hill again," said Datsyuk about the Wings' roller-coaster season so far. "I hope [that] we just keep going up the hill. Like, up the hill [and keep gaining momentum]."

Datsyuk has been a catalyst during the Wings' streak, as his regulation goal against the Bruins ran his four-game totals to four goals and eight points.

"He was good here. Four in a row now for Pav, he's been outstanding, and he can take people with him," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought [Bertuzzi] has played three of his best games since he's been a Red Wing. Good for him to get the goal. Just all in all, when you play a good team like that they expose a few weaknesses you have in your own team, and I imagine we did in them. So, [we've] just got to get better."

The Bruins' 10-game winning streak tied for the fourth-longest in franchise history. They came up four wins shy of the all-time franchise record set back in 1929-30.

Boston outshot the Wings 43-31. In the shootout, Howard stopped Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley's attempts to beat him glove side high. Nathan Horton then accomplished that feat before Bertuzzi closed out the game and the Bruins' string of invincibility.

"I don't think it's the end of the world, first of all, that it ended tonight," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I think that's what you've got to take out of it. There was nothing wrong with the game we played tonight. I thought we were the better team out there. It's unfortunate that sometimes those games get decided by individuals. That's what happened tonight. Having said that, we've won same games lately that maybe we didn't necessarily deserve. We found ways to win, and that's what they did tonight. They found a way to win."

Detroit had not played in a shootout all season and Boston came in 3-0 in the tiebreaker. Howard stuck to his usual philosophy to finish on top.

"The whole thing about playing in a breakaway and shootout is to get the timing down so basically, you want to be backing up as fast as they're skating into you," said Howard. "So if when a guy's coming into the net slow, it's really tough to get your timing down."

Despite the Bruins outshooting the Wings 13-6 in the first period, the Wings went to the dressing room up 1-0 on a Valtteri Filppula goal. Filppula redirected a Henrik Zetterberg pass past Tuukka Rask (29 saves) at 12:43.

Daniel Paille pulled Boston even with a goal after a Nathan Horton steal of a Howard pass below the goal line. Paille took Horton's feed to the front and backhanded it by Howard at 4:05. It took just 45 seconds for the Wings to regain the lead on Datsyuk's goal.

Patrice Bergeron tied the game at 7:52 of the third period. After tagging up during a delayed offside call, Bergeron barged back into the Detroit zone and made a bee line for Zetterberg at the left-wing dot. Boston's center stole the puck and practically in one motion roofed a shot over Howard's shoulder.

The Bruins outchanced the Wings for much of the rest of the third period and just missed a couple of would-be game-winners in overtime.

"No, I don't see it as a setback," Bergeron said. "We played a good team and obviously you want to win. You don't want to go out there and be satisfied with one point. But still, that being said, I think we did some good things. We showed some character to come back in the game and we missed some chances. But still we kept going and that shootout there, it happens."

This is the third time this season the Wings have won at least four straight, including their season-opening five-game winning streak. Howard has been in net for each of their last four victories.

"It was a lot of fun out there," said Howard, who improved to 12-5-1. "Our guys did a great job. We battled hard all night long and it was a gutsy road win."

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