DETROIT – Todd Bertuzzi has scored in consecutive games for the first time this season.
For the Detroit Red Wings, the timing has been perfect.
Bertuzzi had Detroit’s first and last goals in a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday.
“Hopefully, this is a trend,” he said.
The Red Wings hope so, too.
They’ve won two straight, both against Boston, with a combined 10 goals after losing three of four and scoring a total of one goal in those defeats.
“Unfortunately, we had a couple stinkers,” Bertuzzi said. “But that’s the nature of sports.”
Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk had game-tying goals in the first 24 minutes of the game, Kris Draper had a go-ahead score midway through the second period and Bertuzzi sealed the victory with 6:25 left in the game.
“I think Bert skated unbelievable—that’s without the goals,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
Jimmy Howard made 23 saves for the Red Wings.
Rookies Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand gave the Bruins leads in the first period and Tim Thomas stopped 32 shots.
“You can’t give them many good scoring chances, or else they’ll bury ’em on you,” Thomas said. “That’s what happened the last two nights.”
The Bruins had won four of five before their back-to-back losses to the Red Wings. Thomas was 11-2-3 in his previous 16 decisions.
Babcock and many of his players were embarrassed by their previous performance at home, a 4-1 loss to Nashville, but they were all pleased with the past two showings.
“We did a real good job,” said Babcock, who said the team was “awful” against the Predators on Wednesday night.
After a closely contested first period Boston finished with a 2-1 lead, the Red Wings outshot Boston 19-6 in the second period and took over the game.
“We’d like to sustain the effort for 60 minutes and stop making the kind of mistakes we made,” coach Claude Julien said.
Thomas has been the NHL’s top goaltender this season, but he was put in a tough position on both of Bertuzzi’s goals.
Bertuzzi took advantage of Marchand’s backhanded giveaway deep in Boston’s end for his first goal, and of an odd-man rush for his second score.
Henrik Zetterberg poked the puck off the boards to Johan Franzen, who made a perfect pass on a two-on-one rush against Zdeno Chara to set up Bertuzzi’s fourth goal in two games and 12th in 56 games this season.
The six-foot-three, 225-pound power forward led the way just as he did Friday night at Boston.
“He uses his size well,” Julien said. “He gets the puck on his stick and it’s hard to get it away from him.”
Before breaking out the past two games, he had no goals and one assist in the previous seven games.
“Obviously, I wasn’t playing well there for a little while,” he said. “It’s nice to finally get some speed, hold onto the puck and kind of making plays.”
Notes: The Red Wings honoured injured goalie Chris Osgood before the game, giving him a Rolex watch and his wife roses, for earning his 400th career win earlier this season. … Seguin, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, was back in the lineup after being scratched the previous two games. … Bertuzzi’s left leg took the brunt of Nicklas Lidstrom’s shot in the second, hobbled off the ice toward the dressing room and returned later in the period. … Boston F Milan Lucic was hit in his right foot by Niklas Kronwall’s slapshot in the third period, limped off the ice and toward the dressing room, and returned to play. … Detroit is 20-0-2 when leading after two periods. … Boston is 3-7-2 against Western Conference teams and Detroit is 7-3-1 against the East.