Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – FEBRUARY 15: Darren Helm #43 and Trevor Daley #83 of the Detroit Red Wings defend Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins during the first period at TD Garden on February 15, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

In the driver’s seat and looking like a brick wall against the NHL-best Bruins for the second time in less than a week’s time, it was beginning to feel like Red Wings netminder Jonathan Bernier was dabbling in the dark arts.

After dominating the Bruins with a 39-of-40 performance last Sunday, the Detroit puckstopper posted a perfect 19-for-19 through the opening 20 minutes of play at TD Garden, and the Black and Gold were beginning to look downright hopeless against the 31-year-old. I mean, not even the finest of dekes from Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were getting through.

But on Boston’s 25th shot of the afternoon — a through-traffic blast from defenseman Charlie McAvoy — the dam broke on Bernier, and the goals poured in for the B’s en route to a 4-1 victory at TD Garden.

In search of the game-tying goal after Darren Helm’s shorthanded strike put the Wings up just 3:12 into the first period, McAvoy’s second-period blast used Mike Green as a screen and was good for his first five-on-five goal of the campaign.

And McAvoy’s goal actually snapped a 47-minute streak of dominance over the Bruins from Bernier.

Dating back to last Sunday’s meeting, which saw Bernier stop the final 13 shots thrown his way, Bernier had built up a streak of 37 straight stops against Boston shooters. It also started a new streak for Bernier and Co., and far from a pretty one.

Squared at 1-1, the Red Wings were sent to the power play and with a golden chance to jump back on top just 24 seconds after McAvoy knotted things up. But Brad Marchand bodied Green along the wall for an easy turnover, and Patrice Bergeron tucked home his 25th goal of the season to give the Bruins a lead just 1:39 after McAvoy’s goal.

(It was also scored on Boston’s first shot on goal following the strike from No. 73.)

But the Bruins refused to leave anything to chance in what quickly unfolded as a dominant (and productive) middle frame capped by Charlie Coyle’s tip through Bernier just 2:50 after Bergeron’s goal to give the B’s a 3-1 edge. And while the goal came with the Bruins already in front and pounding the Wings to dust, it felt like Coyle’s most deserving strike of the season to date, as he was downright vicious on the puck and created countless chances for his line with his frame.

The showed rolled on in the third period, too, as Marchand once again reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a filthy move on Andreas Athanasiou and shuffled the puck to Pastrnak for No. 88’s 42nd goal of the season.

Protecting a multi-goal lead in the third period, Tuukka Rask rebounded from that ugly Helm shorthanded goal to start his day and finished with 12 saves in the third period (and 25 saves in total) for his 22nd win of the season.

With the win, the B’s earned their first win over the Red Wings this season (they lost both meetings at Little Caesars Arena), and snapped a five-game losing streak to the Wings dating back to last season.

This game came with a milestone for Bruins center David Krejci, too, as the Czech center suited up for his 900th NHL game. Krejci is just the seventh player to play 1,000 games in a Boston uniform, joining a list that features current teammates Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara, as well as Wayne Cashman, Don Sweeney, Johnny Bucyk, and Ray Bourque.

The Bruins will conclude yet another back-to-back with tomorrow’s 3 p.m. meeting with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The B’s defeated the Blueshirts in both of their prior head-to-heads this season.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.