BOSTON (AP) — Marc Staal’s first goal of the season was the tiebreaker with just over eight minutes remaining in the third period, and Alex Nedeljkovic made 41 saves, leading Detroit to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, the Red Wings’ 3,000th victory.
Filip Zadina also scored for Detroit, which won its third straight and raised the franchise's all-time point total to 7,001.
“I thought we played very good defensively,'' Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said of his netminder. ”We gave up shots, but we didn't give up a whole bunch of chances. When we did, he did a good job."
David Pastrnak scored for Boston, and Linus Ullmark stopped 16 shots. The Bruins had won five of their last seven games.
Boston coach Bruce Cassidy missed the contest after being placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol earlier Tuesday.
“We made it a little easy on the goaltender, at times, not getting in front of him enough,” Boston's interim coach Joe Sacco said. “We could have done a better job of providing a screen, taking his sight lines away. Better than what we did, certainly make it a little harder on him.”
With an extra Detroit skater on for a delayed penalty, Staal charged in from the right circle and banged in a rebound from just outside the crease.
“I think it was a win that wasn't the prettiest," Detroit's center Dylan Larkin said. “We defended well. (Nedeljkovic) played great. We didn't get much offensively.”
Brad Marchand, the Bruins' leading scorer, served the first of a three-game suspension for slew-footing Calgary’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson in Sunday’s game.
Skating with a 5-on-3 power-play advantage, Taylor Hall sent a cross-ice pass to Pastrnak, who one-timed a shot from the top of the left circle, tying it 6:20 into the third.
Zadina had pushed Detroit ahead at 5:03 of the second when he slipped a backhander into the net past Ullmark’s glove.
Detroit’s Nick Leddy hit the crossbar with a wrist shot from the point with just over a minute left in the second.
“It's a night where you want to come away with a win,” Hall said. “It's great to get that amount of shots and control the zone time, but it's the score at the end of the night that dictates how we're going to feel.”
Both Blashill and Larkin opened their postgame press conferences with a comment for the people of Oxford, Michigan, following a school shooting there in which three students were killed and eight others injured.
“I just want to send out my prayers to the families that were affected today,” Blashill said, getting choked up. "It's a terrible, terrible thing. It just shouldn't happen. Nothing I say certainly can do anything to help those that suffered the tragedy, that lost their lives.
“I think it's insane that this is somewhat normal and it just shouldn't happen,” he said.
IN, WANTS OUT
Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed after the morning skate that forward Jake DeBrusk, a healthy scratch in the last game, asked to be traded. But, with Marchand and forward Anton Blidh out, combined with a bit of COVID-19 outbreak at the team’s AHL affiliate in Providence, Rhode Island, the forward was needed in the lineup.
THOUGHT ON TUUKKA
Free agent goalie Tuukka Rask, who’s been with Bruins for 14 seasons and had offseason labrum surgery, has been working out at the team’s practice facility the past couple of weeks and hopes to be back sometime in January, if things work out with the Bruins.
Sweeney said the team is very open to his return.
“There’s been a general understanding. Tuukka has to make a decision on his health,” Sweeney said. “When he’s able to do that officially and declare himself, we’ll find a common ground. We have not hidden from that. If he is indeed healthy and wants to play, he’s likely to be a part of our group.”
NOTES: Blidh was sidelined with an injury in the shoulder area that he sustained when he was boarded (for a penalty) by Ekman-Larsson on Sunday. … Marchand (15 goals, 20 assists in 32 games) is the leading scorer on Boston’s roster against Detroit. … Referee Marc Joannette was inadvertently tripped by Bruins D Jakub Zboril and had to be helped off the ice midway into the second period. He didn’t return. … It was the second of four regular-season meetings between the teams. Boston won the first, 5-1, on Nov. 4 at TD Garden.
Red Wings: Host Seattle on Wednesday.
Bruins: At Nashville on Thursday.
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