This game was over before it started. It was over during the National Anthem when an octopus landed next to Tuukka Rask and the unflappable goalie's reaction was something like 'Oh, an octopus. Back to the Anthem.' Rask wasn't even startled by the slimy projectile landing so close to him. He was totally unfazed. Nothing could distract him from the focus he had on the game.
This was as close to a Flawless Victory you can get in the playoffs.
The B's had their share of sloppy moments. They took a few dumb penalties, including a too many men penalty when they were already shorthanded. Fortunately, Detroit's power play isn't very good. Meanwhile, the Bruins power play scored again. Dougie Hamilton went end to end, was hardly challenged, and he beat Jimmy Howard to put the Bruins on top 1-0.
Special teams has been the decisive difference in this series. The Bruins have scored 7 goals, 6 when Detroit has had a goalie in net. Of those 6, 3 were power play goals. Without power play goals and empty-netters, the Bruins are outscoring the Red Wings 3-2 in this series. The B's have also killed all 9 Detroit power plays.
Game 1 was the least penalized of the series. And it's also the game the Bruins lost.
The Bruins are taking full advantage of their edge on special teams. Tuukka Rask is also an edge. His composure, especially against some Detroit flurries in the 2nd, is a stark contrast to Jimmy Howard. Howard hasn't played poorly, but at times he's looked like a spaz.
The Bruins are the better team, the more complete team, and for the last two games they've been playing better. They need to continue at this level and make quick work of Detroit. At this point the B's are the only ones who can prevent themselves from winning this series.
Montreal awaits the winner.
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press