BOSTON – The Boston Bruins overcame a two-goal deficit to win Game 4 of their playoff series in Detroit. Now the Red Wings must overcome a two-game deficit to keep their season alive.
The Bruins won 3-2 in overtime Thursday night to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven, first-round matchup.
The Red Wings get their chance to turn it around Saturday on the road.
But it’s not a great chance against the team that won the Presidents’ Trophy for the NHL’s best record this season, has won three straight games, and had just seven regulation losses at home in the regular season.
“Obviously we’re frustrated, but the series isn’t over,” Detroit’s Luke Glendening said. “We still have an opportunity, but we’ve got a big hill to climb here.”
The Red Wings lost both games at home after splitting the first two in Boston. Now the Bruins will try to wrap up the series in a building filled with their friendly fans.
“We accomplished something on the road we really wanted to do,” said Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who was named one of the three Vezina Trophy finalists on Friday. “We have a chance to close the series at home. It’s an opportunity we really have to use, and it won’t be easy, but seeing how our game has improved during this series, it’s a good sign.”
If the Bruins lose, they will return to Detroit for Game 6 on Monday night. If they win, they will start preparing for the second-round series against the Montreal Canadiens, who swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in four games.
“We can end it (Saturday), but the urgency still has to be there, and the focus still has to be there,” Boston coach Claude Julien said.
The Bruins are getting contributions throughout their lineup despite injuries that have sidelined forwards Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille for the first four games. They have outscored the Red Wings 10-4 with nine players scoring goals and 14 recording at least one point.
“They’re a really, really good team,” Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall said, “but, at the same time, we didn’t really take care of business. We’ve got to keep it a little bit more simple in some areas.”
The Red Wings expect Jimmy Howard back in goal after he was a late scratch due to the flu in Game 4. Jonas Gustavsson made his playoff debut and played well.
Pavel Datsyuk and Kronwall gave Detroit a 2-0 lead in the second period before Boston tied it on goals by Torey Krug midway through the second and Milan Lucic early in the third.
Jarome Iginla was credited with the winning goal on a shot by Dougie Hamilton that he redirected in off of Detroit’s Danny DeKeyser.
The Red Wings “were very hungry. They were very good in the first period,” Iginla said. “The guys in here have been through it before. There’s great leadership in here.”
Howard shut out the Bruins 1-0 in Game 1 but wasn’t as sharp in the next two games.
Henrik Zetterberg, returning from back surgery, and Todd Bertuzzi also played for the first time in the series in Game 4.
“I think it was a step forward on the last two games,” Zetterberg said. “We got the lead early and got the second (goal).”
Last year the Bruins also came home with a 3-1, first-round lead. But Toronto won the next two games and led 4-1 midway through the third period of Game 7 before Boston won in overtime.
“Sometimes it’s more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge,” Rask said. “You kind of start thinking about the end score of the game before the game even starts, and you kind of feel and hope that you get to do that. But I think we’ve learned over the years that it doesn’t help us. We just have to focus on our job and the game itself.”
The Red Wings can’t look ahead, either.
“We have nothing to lose,” Kronwall said. “We’re going into Boston to win one game. That’s got to be our mindset.”