Offensive Woes Continue in Detroit

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For the first few games following the injuries to Marc Savard and Milan Lucic, the Boston Bruins looked like the 2007-08 version of themselves, as they battled adversity by picking up five out of a possible six points. Since then, the road to success hasn’t been as simple, especially on the offensive side of the puck. The Bruins entered Tuesday night’s game with a 1-2 record in their previous three tilts, while finding the back of the net a mere three times. Those struggles continued, as Chris Osgood stopped all 29 shots he faced, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-0 victory at Joe Louis Arena.

Tuesday night’s opening period got off to a bit of a slow start, as the two non-conference opponents needed some time to learn about who they were playing against. Midway through the first period, the Bruins put together a solid effort around the Detroit goal, coming inches away from scoring on multiple occasions. Marco Sturm had the best chances, as he had a backhander robbed by a lunging Chris Osgood, before sliding the rebound along the goal line and off of the left post. Moments later, the fans heard iron again, as Zdeno Chara rang the post behind the Red Wings’ netminder.

With 5:41 remaining in the opening stanza, Marco Sturm was whistled for Boston’s first penalty of the night, as he picked up a minor for hooking. The penalty was one of the shortest ones in the history of the sport, as the Bruins’ forward barely had a chance to get his foot through the door. Patrice Bergeron won the ensuing face-off from Pavel Datsyuk, dropping the puck back for one of his defenders. However, the puck would never get that far, as Henrik Zetterberg stepped up, ripping a shot into the top-left corner of the net. The play took two seconds to develop.

A little more than three minutes later, the Red Wings extended their lead. Todd Bertuzzi gathered in the puck along the left wing boards in his own zone, starting a rush up the ice. After crossing the blueline, Bertuzzi sent a lead pass ahead for Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk had trouble catching the pass cleanly, but still managed to bobble it into the offensive zone. Once the puck settled down for him, Datsyuk dropped a pass back for an oncoming Tomas Holmstrom, who pushed the puck in for a two-goal advantage.

The visiting Bruins held 13-10 advantage in shots on goal during the first period, while also ringing the post twice. However, they had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard, as Detroit carried a 2-0 lead into the dressing room.

The musical portion of the program continued during the middle frame, as Michael Ryder joined his teammates with yet another shot off of the post. The second period was significantly slower in terms of opportunities, as the two sides combined to put 15 shots on goal. Once again, Boston had the lead in the category, bringing the overall total up to 21-17. With no change in score, the Bruins would need a third period comeback to earn a point.

Detroit was the better club during the game’s final twenty minutes, as the home team tried to add to the lead. That offensive effort also helped to keep the Bruins at bay, securing the two points for the Red Wings. Neither team netted a goal during the third period, as Detroit scored a 2-0 win.

With the win, Chris Osgood picked up his 50th career shutout, stopping all 29 shots he faced for the Red Wings. Tim Thomas continues to play well for the Bruins, as he allowed two goals or fewer for the third time in a row. Unfortunately for Thomas, all three of those games ended in defeats, dropping his season record to 4-6-0.

It might be starting to sound like a broken record, but the power play was ineffective once again, going 0-for-3 with just two shots on goal.

If there’s one team with the motivational powers to help the Bruins end this skid, that team is without a doubt the Montreal Canadiens. On Thursday night, the Canadiens make their first visit to Boston of the 2009-10 season. The Providence Bruins remain off until Friday night, when they open up a stretch of three games in three days with a home game against the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Scoring Summary:
1. DET Zetterberg (3) (Datsyuk) (PP) 14:21
1. DET Holmstrom (8) (Datsyuk, Bertuzzi) 17:43

Penalty Summary:
1. DET Kronwall- Interference 9:32
1. BOS Sturm- Hooking 14:19
2. DET Kronwall- Interference 17:04
3. DET Bertuzzi- Holding 4:19
3. BOS Thornton- High Sticking 7:23
3. BOS Wideman- Interference 12:52
3. DET Williams- Interference 13:09
3. BOS Ryder- Holding 14:38

BOS Tim Thomas (4-6-0): 26 shots, 24 saves
DET Chris Osgood (5-2-2): 29 shots, 29 saves

Shots on Goal:
BOS 13-8-8=29
DET 10-7-9=26

Power Plays:
BOS 0-for-3
DET 1-for-4

Three Stars of the Game:
1- DET Chris Osgood
2- DET Pavel Datsyuk
3- DET Tomas Holmstrom