Pavel Datsyuk celebrates his third period goal as the Red Wings earned a 1-0 win over the Bruins in Game 1. Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily.
They spent most of the game feeling each other out defensively. There were certain points where the Detroit Red Wings had some sustained zone time, particularly during the second period. At other points, including the start of the first and the middle of the third, the Bruins got their legs moving creating a few chances of their own.
But the game isn’t about how many or how few chances you create, but rather what you do with them. And late in the third, it was Pavel Datsyuk who took advantage of his opportunity.
It did take a great save from Jimmy Howard on Milan Lucic, however, for Datsyuk’s heroics. With the game still scoreless, Howard got a glove on Lucic’s attempt and just trickled wide of the goal mark. Moments later, Datsyuk fled down the ice and fired a nifty shot past Tuukka Rask, who was screened by Justin Abdelkader, to break the ice and give the Red Wings the 1-0 victory in Game 1.
“It was a fortunate save, it was pretty lucky,” Howard said about his save on Lucic, one of 25 in the shutout. “I forget who it was that lobbed it in, but he stuck his stick out and got a lot on it and it just sort of spun my glove and I was able to get enough on it. I was pretty lucky.”
“They were playing well in the third period and then Jimmy just stopped everything to help us and one way to use it, one chance,” Datsyuk said about the sequence. “I tell [Abdelkader] it’s me, make a nice play and Abby do a nice screen and I just shoot behind him.”
Sometimes, it’s more fortunate to be lucky than good. Rask (23 saves), who made a highlight reel stop on Red Wings forward Darren Helm earlier in the third, wasn’t as lucky as the hard luck loser.
“That’s how it goes most of the time,” Rask said about the Datsyuk-Lucic sequence. “One team has a chance and doesn’t score and the other team capitalizes on the second chance.”
The Bruins nor Red Wings had much space to work with Friday night. But when they did, they tried to get the bounce in their direction.
For a team that’s as skilled as the Red Wings, the tight-checking game would seem to be a mismatch against the more physical Black and Gold. However, if Friday was any indication of things to come, than the game might not come down to X’s and O’s as much as which team gets that lucky bounce.
“Sometimes that’s how it goes,” said Bruins defenseman Andrej Meszaros. “You get a chance to score and they come down and score on us. But, you know, we had our chances, we just have to bury them down and keep shooting the puck and get in front of the goalie, and that’s how we’ve got to score goals.”
With goals hard to come by in Game 1, the Red Wings just happened to have that bounce Friday night. The Bruins, on the other hand, are hoping to get some bounces their way in front of a nationally televised audience for Game 2 on Easter Sunday.
“What can you do?” said Rask. “You just got to battle back and get the next one.”
See what Datsyuk, Rask, Meszaros, Corey Potter and head coach Claude Julien had to say about Game 1 of the Bruins-Red Wings series.