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Boston — That's two times this season now the Red Wings have had the misfortune of playing Boston after the Bruins suffered tough losses the game before.

Each time, the Red Wings have been on the losing side. Monday it was 5-2.

The Bruins were coming off being embarrassed 6-2 in Columbus Saturday and looked in this game like a team intent on wiping that loss out of their memory.

They surely were, while the Red Wings started off poorly for the third consecutive game and never could fully recover.

"They won all the battles and competed way harder," coach Mike Babcock said. "This road trip Howie (goalie Jimmy Howard) kept us in the game and gave us a chance in Ottawa (Red Wings rallying for a 3-2 overtime win) and kept us in the game (Monday).

"As a group and coaching staff you pride yourself on having your team ready — no good. Leadership group — no good. Individually, not good enough.

"It's really simple for me. Either you're working in the game or practice. We'll work. That is unacceptable."

Never mind the Bruins were without star forwards Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic, both out with undisclosed injuries.

The Bruins were the better team for most of the evening, in what was a disappointing Red Wings loss, allowing the Bruins a season-high 45 shots on net.

"We didn't play well enough," said Niklas Kronwall. "We kept losing battles and if you keep doing that, you're not going to touch the puck. Once we did have the puck, we didn't execute.

"There was a lot of chasing."

The Red Wings (19-9-9, 47 points) saw their modest two-game win streak end, while the Bruins (19-15-3, 41 points) crept closer to the leaders in the Atlantic Division race.

Seth Griffith's power-play goal in the third period restored a two-goal Bruins lead.

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara got control of the puck near the boards and fed David Krejci, who drew the Red Wings to him while carrying the puck to the edge of the circle.

Krejci found Griffith near the slot, and he created a bit, then snapped a shot from the circle past Howard for his sixth goal, at 5:11.

An empty-net goal by Chris Kelly at 17:34 clinched things.

"We just didn't have it going from the start," Howard said. "None of us, myself included. We knew they were going to come out hard, and they won every battle in front of the net.

"No surprise what the score was."

Justin Abdelkaer and Tomas Tatar (power play) scored Red Wings goals.

Gregory Campbell and Carl Soderberg scored late first-period goals for Boston to snap a 1-1 tie.

On a delayed penalty, the Bruins took control of the puck in the Red Wings zone and got the puck to Torey Krug (Livonia/Michigan State) on the point.

Krug unleashed a shot that Howard stopped, but the Bruins maintained control around the crease. Finally, Campbell put back the rebound, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

It didn't take long for the Bruins to make it 3-1.

Only 1:13 after Campbell scored Eriksson slipped past Brendan Smith behind the net to get the puck, and found Soderberg alone in front, who had gotten past Brian Lashoff. Soderberg slid the puck past Howard for his seventh goal, at 17:25.

The Red Wings thought they had a goal late in the first period from Tatar, but video determined it was no goal, his stick deflecting the puck above the height of the crossbar.