Krejci propels Bruins past Red Wings - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Krejci propels Bruins past Red Wings

Author:
Publish date:

By Tony Lee

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Looking for a nice way to finish off an

amazing month, the Boston Bruins found it by taking out the

defending Stanley Cup champion.

David Krejci had a goal and an assist, Phil Kessel scored for

the sixth time in seven games and goaltender Manny Fernandez

remained perfect at home as the Bruins stayed hot with a 4-1

victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

Rookie Blake Wheeler and Chuck Kobasew also scored for Boston

(16-4-4), which has won nine straight at TD Banknorth Garden and

finished November with an 11-1-1 record. Michael Ryder notched

two assists and Fernandez made 29 saves to improve to 6-0-0 at

home.

The Bruins' 23 points in November is their most in a month since

they had 24 in December 1978. Finishing it against a powerhouse

like Detroit certainly sends a message.

"We can beat anybody in this league and we can play with anybody

in this league," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who assisted

on Kessel's goal in the first.

Jiri Hudler scored and Ty Conklin turned aside six shots before

being relieved by Chris Osgood for Detroit, which failed to pick

up a point for the first time in seven road games this month.

Osgood made nine saves for the Red Wings.

"We've been pretty successful on the road this year," Detroit

coach Mike Babcock said. "We hit a speed bump here tonight."

A lot of teams have hit speed bumps in Boston of late, and it

has nothing to do with the city's horrendous roads. Since a

loss here to Toronto on October 23, the Bruins have outscored

opponents at home, 46-18. Six of their nine straight home wins

have come by at least three goals and sellouts are becoming

regular.

"I know when I first got here I was looking into the stands and

they were half-empty," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "It's a

little disheartening to see that. The fact that now every night

you're coming out and it seems to be more and more people ...

(the fans) definitely are a seventh player."

The crowd was a bit quiet early on as Detroit took the first

eight shots of the game. Julien said his team was "watching"

rather than playing early on.

When the Bruins finally got a shot on net exactly 12 minutes in,

they made it count for a 1-0 lead. Krejci fed Ryder, who split

two defenders to create a 2-on-1 with Wheeler streaking down the

left side. Ryder slid the puck to Wheeler, who one-timed it

past Conklin for his eighth goal of the season and second in as

many games.

It was the kind of team effort not lost on the Red Wings.

Babcock himself mentioned nine different players in one long

sentence when asked which Boston players impressed him most.

"They've got good players and they're starting to come of age,"

Babcock said. "They've been drafting high for a long time and it

starts to show after a period of time."

The fifth overall pick in 2006, Kessel scored his team-high 13th

goal of the season four minutes after Wheeler's goal on Boston's

third shot of the night. Defenseman Shane Hnidy passed the puck

to Kessel just inside the blue line and the 21-year-old unloaded

a slap shot past Conklin for his sixth goal in seven games.

Kessel has six goals and five assists in a career-high nine-game

points streak.

The Bruins' chances were limited again in the second, but again

they made them count. After Patrice Bergeron stripped a Detroit

defender of the puck in the corner, he found Kobasew skating

toward the net in prime position for a one-timer that made it

3-0 with 11:59 left in the second. It was only Boston's second

shot of the period and prompted Babcock to make a switch in net.

"Well, I let up three goals in nine shots, which is not very

good," Conklin said when asked about the hook.

Detroit's vaunted power play, ranked first in the NHL by a wide

margin, struck for a goal with 3:35 left in the second when

Hudler fired the puck into a crowd and had it glance off the

skate of Bruins center Marc Savard for his ninth goal of the

season.

However, Fernandez was able to thwart any further attacks and

Krejci beat Osgood midway through the third to finish the

scoring as Boston improved to 6-1-2 in its last nine meetings

between the "Original Six" rivals.

Calling the Bruins "one of the top teams in the NHL right now,"

Fernandez credited his teammates with keeping the high-scoring

Red Wings in check.

"Tonight we seemed to control the breakouts, controlled

everything out there," said Fernandez, who made 14 of his saves

in the second.

"Blocking shots at a good time, clearing rebounds."

Fernandez started two straight for the first time this season as

regular starter Tim Thomas fights an illness, one of the

casualties of a stretch that has seen Boston play 10 games in 18

days. It went 8-1-1 in the span.

"In a way you're kind of sad it's over because you got a pretty

good run going and you feel like you got some momentum," Julien

said. "Hopefully we won't lose that and we'll bring it to

Florida (on Thursday)."

TOP HEADLINES