(Photo by Dan Mannes/ Detroit Red Wings)
The 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.
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.
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You can watch tonight's 7:30 PM matchup on Fox Sports Detroit or NBCSN, or listen in with Ken Kal and Paul Woods on 97.1 The Ticket.