Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) and Detroit Red Wings center Riley Sheahan (15) battle for the puck during the first period of Game 3 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series in Detroit

Bruins blank Wings for series lead

DETROIT — The Boston Bruins took full advantage of Detroit’s mistakes, and their stellar goaltender’s flawless performance. Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Caron scored in the first period after the Red Wings had miscues on the ice and Tuukka Rask finished with a 23-save shutout, giving Boston a 3-0 win over the Red Wings and a 2-1 series lead in their first-round series.

DETROIT — The Boston Bruins took full advantage of Detroit’s mistakes, and their stellar goaltender’s flawless performance.

Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Caron scored in the first period after the Red Wings had miscues on the ice and Tuukka Rask finished with a 23-save shutout, giving Boston a 3-0 win over the Red Wings and a 2-1 series lead in their first-round series.

Patrice Bergeron added an empty-net goal late in the third period, sealing the lopsided game.

The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Bruins are ahead in the series for the first time. And, it seems like a commanding lead the way they have played the past two games.

“I would never say that,” Boston coach Claude Julien insisted.

Detroit has to win Game 4 on Thursday night to avoid facing elimination when the series shifts back to Boston.

Jimmy Howard made 31 saves for the Red Wings, who needed him to make what appeared to be a routine stop midway through the first period on the first goal. Hamilton’s wrist shot from the top of the right circle beat Howard’s glove on a power play after Detroit had too many men on the ice.

“That goal can’t go in,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “They were better than us all night, but we gave them two goals.”

The Red Wings didn’t have enough players in position to stop the second goal. After a poorly timed line change, Caron was all alone in front of the net and scored off a rebound created by Shawn Thornton’s shot.

“Once I turned around and got to the blue line, I saw there was a lot of ice,” Thornton said.

Detroit had a 5-on-3 power play for 35 seconds midway through the second period and could not take advantage.

The Red Wings had perhaps their best chance early in the third period, but Rask made a sprawling stop to get his glove on Justin Abdelkader’s shot.

“Just tried to track it down and leave the rebound to someone else,” Rask said.

Detroit did not have many other opportunities against Rask, who ended up with his fourth career playoff shutout.

The Red Wings had a power play midway through the third period and got only one shot to Rask, whose teammates prevented the puck from getting to him by putting their bodies and sticks in the way all night.

“That’s part of our defensive game,” Julien said. “Guys aren’t afraid to block shots.”

The Red Wings pulled Howard to have an extra skater late in the game, but failed to dump the puck deep into the Boston end. Bergeron made a long shot into an empty net with 1:59 left to make it 3-0.

Since the Red Wings won Game 1 on Pavel Datsyuk’s goal late in the third period, they have been outscored 7-1.

“It hasn’t been easy, let’s not kid ourselves,” Julien said. “We’ve been fortunate enough in the last two games to get leads. We’re not going to talk about a comfortable situation because until you win that fourth game, it never is.”

Detroit did not have one of its top forwards, Daniel Alfredsson, because of a back ailment and is still without two key players, captain Henrik Zetterberg and defenceman Jonathan Ericsson, because of injuries.

Even with all three of those players and a 100 per cent healthy Pavel Datsyuk, who is playing with a banged-up left knee, Boston simply might be too tough to beat.

The defending Eastern Conference and 2011 Stanley Cup champions are big, strong, fast and talented. Boston proved that during the regular season, leading the NHL with 117 points, and has shown how dominant it can be after losing the closely contested Game 1.

“They’ve responded since then and we’ve had no push back in the last two games,” Babcock lamented.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Aaron Goodvin sings at Westerner Days

Aaron Goodvin performed at Westerner Days Wednesday.… Continue reading

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Central Alberta

There’s a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Red Deer and the… Continue reading

WATCH: Sun shines on Red Deer’s Westerner Days parade

George Young has been a Westerner Days parade marshal for about 28… Continue reading

Central Alberta receives funding for regional emergency training

Alberta Municipal Affairs announces $160,000 for training on top of $40,000 previously received

WATCH: Global FMX at Westerner Days

There are three freestyle motocross shows a day at Westerner Park this week

Study links air pollution to drop in national park visitors

DENVER — Visitors appear to be steering clear of some U.S. national… Continue reading

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontari

Three cubs found abandoned in a washroom along the Trans-Canada Highway in… Continue reading

Canada could get caught in cross-fire of U.S. uranium investigation

Canada could get caught in the crossfire after the U.S. Department of… Continue reading

Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled his pre-election cabinet, shuffling… Continue reading

Canada’s premiers meet Indigenous groups, although three major groups decline

BOUCTOUCHE, N.B. — Canada’s premiers are meeting with Indigenous organizations in New… Continue reading

An updated list of federal cabinet ministers following Wednesday’s shuffle

OTTAWA — An updated list of federal cabinet ministers following Wednesday’s shuffle,… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month