Red Wings penalty kill has no answer for Bergeron, Bruins in 5-1 loss

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Boston — This Red Wings game was familiar to many from the last few seasons.

They try, they do their best, but in the end they simply don't measure up to their opponents while methodically losing.

The Boston Bruins have been good, not great to open this season, but they looked just fine Thursday against the Red Wings, defeating the Wings 5-1.

Boston's power play, or maybe specifically Patrice Bergeron on it, dominated, pacing the Bruins.

Bergeron, the future Hall of Famer who entered Thursday's game with no goals, but scored three power-play goals and a fourth goal in the third period. Bergeron became the seventh Bruins player to score three power-play goals in a game, and it was his second career four-goal game.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Thomas Greiss (29) deflects the puck while pressured by Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Boston.

"The game came down to special teams," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "You have to stay out of the box. You have to kill a penalty. Their power play hadn't been clicking a whole lot, but obviously it clicked tonight. We have to do a better job (penalty killing)."

Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman stopped 14 shots, as Boston outshot the Wings 37-15 a somewhat-indicator of how this game went.

Thomas Greiss had 31 saves for the Wings, who've gone winless in four games (0-3-1).

"We just haven't been able to generate much and getting much off the rush, either," defenseman Marc Staal said. "It starts with playing better in our end, and not be tired at the end of a shift and dump it in, execute better, make better plays to give ourselves a chance to create some offense."

The Wings (4-5-2) were without forward Dylan Larkin for a second consecutive game (personal reasons), but did get back Tyler Bertuzzi, who had missed the last two games in Canada (unvaccinated).

Blashill also took defenseman Danny DeKeyser out of the lineup, sitting DeKeyser in favor of Jordan Oesterle, in an effort to find a winning lineup.

The Wings have only won once in their last 14 games in Boston (5-3-0) including the playoffs.

BOX SCORE: Bruins 5, Red Wings 1 

Blashill said the character of the Bruins' leadership group has been a key reason for the organization's success in the last decade.

"The character they've had in the locker room has led to lots of winning," Blashill said after the morning skate. "They've certainly been one of the most consistent organizations over the last 10 years or so and deserve to be considered for that. 

"Their coaching staff does a great job preparing, and they get things done right to be a tough opponent on a nightly basis."

A telling nugget of this game pretty much determined the outcome midway in the third period.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal, seated, and Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) vie for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Boston.

The Wings had a two-man advantage trailing 3-0, on Bergeron's three goals, but had an opportunity to get close.

Sure enough, Lucas Raymond scored on a one-timer from Filip Hronek, Raymond's fifth goal, at 7 minutes, 46 seconds.

And the Wings still had over a minute left on a power play.

But the Bruins quickly recovered, as Curtis Lazar was sprung on a breakaway. Greiss made the stop, but Mike Reilly tapped in the rebound in the crease to restore the three-goal Bruins lead (4-1) just 24 seconds after Raymond's goal.

"It was a killer," Blashill said of Reilly's shorthanded goal. "That's the one you have to find a way (to not allow) You can go out and make it 3-2 and it went from having a chance of making it 3-2 to making it 4-1. That can't happen."

Bergeron opened the scoring with his first goal at 11:03 of the first period.

Just five seconds after Vladislav Namestnikov was penalized, Marchand found Bergeron near the bumper area and Marchand cleanly beat Greiss.

The score stayed that way after one period, but Bergeron pushed it to 2-0 at 9:39.

Marchand found Bergeron unattended in the slot, and Bergeron put his second shot past Greiss. Marchand found Bergeron again in the bumper spot late in the second period, extending the lead to 3-0.

"Bergeron in the slot is a job we missed the assignment on twice," Blashill said. "We went over it lots before (the game) pretty heavy, making sure what the assignments were — and we missed assignments twice." 

The Wings close out this four-game trip Saturday in Buffalo, needing a win desperately so as not to have this losing streak snowball, as in recent seasons.

"You wake up and prepare and get ready mentally to play another game," Staal said. "We've played a lot of games here in a short period of time. There's no time to feel sorry for ourselves. You just need to play as a team real well and real hard every night to have success.

"You can't do it for 20 or 40 minutes. You do it for the whole game and that's the recipe for us."

Twitter: @tkulfan