GOLD STAR: Sean Kuraly doesn’t get to play the lead role much for a talented Bruins team, so let him get his share of the credit for a multi-point game on Tuesday night. Kuraly got the B’s on the board in the second period when he was able to step into a pass from Matt Grzelcyk and hammer home a shot from the slot. He finished with a goal and two points in 9:42 of ice time, and scored his first goal since Thanksgiving for a fourth line that’s been very good this season. Best of all Kuraly did one of his animated, enthusiastic celebrations after he scored, though this time it wasn’t quite the same as some of the ones where he was leaping through the air. All in all it was a strong game from Boston’s fourth line center on a night when they needed to grind out the win.
BLACK EYE: It was a rough night for Danny DeKeyser, who finished with a game-worst minus-3 meaning he was on ice for all three of Boston’s goals. DeKeyser and D-man partner Nick Jensen clearly got picked on in that regard, and DeKeyser wasn’t able to do much of anything else to positively impact a game in terms of offense or physicality. At least his defensive partner threw four hits and blocked four shots. Instead DeKeyser just kind of floated through the game with a single shot on net, a couple of shots that got blocked and pretty much nothing else of use for a Red Wings team that’s largely going through the motions at this point.
TURNING POINT: Clearly it was the second period for the Bruins where they outshot the Red Wings by an 11-5 margin, and recovered by scoring a pair of goals after giving up a power play strike to Detroit earlier in the second period. The first period was solid too with the B’s outshooting the Wings by a 13-7 margin, but the middle 20 minutes is where they really took over. Sean Kuraly scored the first goal on a nice play where Zdeno Chara pinched in to keep the offensive play alive, and then David Krejci scored the go-ahead goal after hammering a loose puck coming right to him in the slot. It turned out to be Danton Heinen’s insurance goal in the third period that ended up being the game-winner, but it was the middle period where the Bruins really seized control of the game and never relinquished it.
HONORABLE MENTION: Danton Heinen scored the game-winner and finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-2 rating in 19:51 of ice time. Heinen had four shots on net, five shot attempts and a takeaway while filling in for Brad Marchand for the last time during the B’s winger’s five game suspension, and he once again impressed with his all-around play. It was Heinen that roofed a shot to the top corner after collecting a Sean Kuraly feed in the third period for the actual game-winner, and it was Heinen that also hit a post in the first period on a rush down the left wing. On a night when many of Boston’s big offensive guns were quiet against a trapping Red Wings team, it was Heinen that stepped up as he has on a number of occasions this season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 11-1-2 – the Bruins record over the 14 games that they’ve played since the beginning of January as the beat just keeps going on for the Black and Gold.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Lately I think our starts have gotten better, but it doesn't matter if we go down a goal. We just keep plugging away and play our game, and it's paid off." –Tuukka Rask, who improved to 19-0-2 with a 1.60 goals against average and a .942 save percentage with his 26-save effort.