'Unacceptable': Bruins bash Wings to extend winless start

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Boston Bruins players surround David Pastrnak after he scored as Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen (3) looks up for the replay during the second period on Saturday.

The Red Wings continue to search for their first victory.

Saturday’s game in Boston wasn’t likely to be it, given the Wings’ lack of success there — or anywhere — against the Bruins in recent seasons.

So, the 8-2 defeat, which stretched the Wings’ winless streak to five games to open the season (0-3-2, two points) wasn’t surprising.

FINAL: Bruins 8, Red Wings 2

Maybe what was ironic was the lack of, well, everything the Wings showed (or didn’t show).

Once the game got out of hand, there simply wasn’t enough desperation to win.

“We have to find ways to just win games,” forward Dylan Larkin told reporters afterward. “Desperation level has to be higher and as a leader here, I have to come out next game, we all have to come out and play with some desperation.

“Find a way. We have to find a way. We’ve played five games and we have a lot of games to go, so we have to find a way to turn this around or it’s not going to be a fun year if it keeps going like this. We all know that.”

Larkin felt if he’d accept a fight from Boston’s Noel Acciari late in the first period, maybe the momentum would have changed.

“I don’t even know who it was, (who) wanted to fight and I didn’t answer the bell and if I did, it could have changed some momentum in the game and maybe got some momentum back on our side and showed them that we were ready to battle, we were here,” Larkin said.

“We’re on the road and we’re not intimidated. I’m looking at myself right away and I could have did that and helped our team feel more confident, or just did it to show those guys that we’re ready to battle.”

Something like a Larkin fight may have sparked the Wings, said coach Jeff Blashill, but it wasn’t a game-changing issue.

“He’s just saying, sometimes it’s a spark,” Blashill said. “Sometimes it’s not. I don’t think that was the issue. The issue was, we get to the second period and we refuse to hold onto the puck and help our five defensemen that are dressed.

"Obviously we had a bunch of young guys in there in that mix, and instead of making it easier on them, we made it harder on them by turning pucks over, and a lot of that was in the offensive zone and then having to face rushes, so it doesn’t make any sense.”

Filip Hronek (power play, first career NHL goal) and Dylan Larkin (shorthanded) scored for the Wings.

The Wings also lost defenseman Danny DeKeyser to an apparent hand injury after the first period, further weakening an already injury-riddled defense.

Blashill said there was no update on DeKeyser other than he was unavailable to return.

Not having DeKeyser further exposed a young Wings’ defense against the powerful Bruins.

“We put too much pressure on them tonight,” Blashill said. “You go down to five (defensemen) right away, and you have obviously three inexperienced guys and we just put too much pressure on them by the way we played.”

Blashill felt his team took a step back compared to the first four games.

“We regressed tonight for sure,” Blashill said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that that game is not even close to good enough in any stretch. Is it troubling? Yeah, it was a bad effort — I don’t know if effort is even the right word. Bad effort, bad execution, unacceptable.

“In the first four games, there were a lot of moments we did lots of good stuff, but we didn’t come out with any results. What do you do? You can’t feel sorry for yourself and react out when things start to go the wrong way. You’ve got to dig in and be way better, so we’ve got to find a way to dig in and get better tomorrow and find a way to be way better against Montreal (Monday).”

This wasn’t a shock, considering the Wings have lost their last nine games in Boston — and 11, if you count the playoffs.

The Bruins (4-1-0, eight points) have beaten the Wings seven games in a row overall.

David Pastrnak had three goals (one on a power play) for the Bruins. Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk (two goals), Anders Bjork and Sean Kuraly had the other goals, while goalie Tuukka Rask stopped 32 shots.

Jonathan Bernier got the start in net for the Wings and made 31 saves.

“They didn’t really have to work for the scoring chances they got,” forward Frans Nielsen told reporters. “We basically gave them odd-man rushes against. We’ve got to do a way better job of managing the puck and being a little harder to play against.

“This is just so far from where we want to be.”


Twitter: @tkulfan