|Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets||Smart Era Gets Off to a Good Start with Win over T’wolves|
Now that’s more like it. After splitting a pair of games in Boston, the Bruins beat the Red Wings soundly in Game 3 by a score of 3-0. Tuukka Rask, who was awarded the first star of the game, made 23 saves and got the shutout for the Black and Gold.
The Bruins got the jump on the Wings early in the game and didn’t let up for a full sixty minutes. Dougie Hamilton opened the scoring with a powerplay goal in the first, making a nifty end-to-end rush and firing off a quick shot over the shoulder of Howard.
Later in the first, the B’s took advantage of a bad line chance by the Red Wings and tallied another. Thornton took the puck hard to the net and Jordan Caron buried the rebound, putting the Bruins up by two heading into the locker room after the first period.
The Bruins put up a clinic on consistency and domination for the rest of the game: driving to the net, cycling the puck, back-checking, and of course stellar play from their netminder. The Wings pushed back a bit at times with some great shifts from their forwards, applying pressure and crashing the net but Rask answered their every move. The Wings even had a 35 second five-on-three powerplay but were only able to get off one shot.
The final ten or so minutes of the game had the feel and intensity of a Game 7. The Wings pulled their goalie and were throwing everything they had at the Bruins but couldn’t get anything through. Patrice Bergeron finally put the nail in the coffin with an empty netter from the Bruins own blue line and that ended it for the Red Wings.
The Bruins continue to get great contributions from the younger players in the absence of their starters. Kelly and Paille are both still out with the flu, but Florek and Caron have been great surprises. Florek has good size and strength, not unlike our old friend Benoit Pouliot, and had a couple great shifts where he fore-checked hard and created offensive opportunities.
And where the heck did this Jordan Caron come from? He’s basically been a non-factor since being drafted, unable to crack the lineup as a full time starter. However, in three games so far this playoffs he has played physical, gritty, smart, and even contributed a goal tonight. This is what we’ve been waiting a long time for.
The return of Bartkowski was also good news. He wasn’t a huge factor tonight, but that’s fine. Kevan Miller, on the other hand, continues to be a wrecking ball. I’ve already made my case for him being in our top six for years to come in that role.
For a glimpse of how our young kids have contributed so far this series, here’s a fun fact for you: in three games, three players have scored their first playoff goals. Pretty cool.
Even though this series is only 2-1, you have to be very excited as a B’s fan. Rask has allowed only two goals in three games and the Bruins have really been rolling four lines and kicking ass. It should also be noted that Monreal completed the sweep tonight. And who’s not drooling over that matchup next round?