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Red Wings 2, Bruins 1

Minus Brad Marchand and coach Bruce Cassidy, Bruins lose to Red Wings

Filip Zadina beat Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark early in in the second period to give the Red Wings a 1-0 lead.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Bad luck never had good timing.

Between Brad Marchand serving a three-game suspension, Jake DeBrusk requesting a trade, and Bruce Cassidy going into COVID-19 protocol, the Bruins spent the better part of the 24 hours leading up to their game against the Detroit Red Wings trying to put out one fire, only to turn around and see another one sparking behind them.

“Everything happened really fast,” said Taylor Hall, who took Marchand’s place on the top line Tuesday night. “The Marshy thing came out last night, and then come to the rink this morning and know that [Cassidy is] not going to be behind the bench, you’ve got to adjust. That’s the world that we live in right now and that’s the season and the league that everyone in the league has to go through that at some point this year.


“It doesn’t seem like COVID is going away right now and every team has had to battle through some things. Right now, that’s some adversity that we have.”

As they navigated a minefield of issues, the Bruins still had a game to play. Without one of their biggest weapons, the Bruins still had punch, but little landed in a 2-1 loss.

“It’s a night where you want to come away with a win,” Hall said. “But there’s obviously things that we could have done better to accomplish that. It’s great to get that amount of shots and zone time and control the game like that, but it’s the score at the end of the night that dictates how we’re going to feel right now and the next day.”

With 42 shots on goal, the Bruins had more than enough opportunities. Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic matched a season high with 41 stops, but acting Bruins coach Joe Sacco said there were ways to make it more difficult for him.


“I did think we made it a little bit easy on the goaltender at times by not getting in front of him enough,” Sacco said. “I thought we could have done a better job of providing a screen, taking sightlines away better than what we did, certainly make it a little bit harder on him.”

Coming off a come-from-behind win over Vancouver fueled by a pair of third-period power-play goals, the Bruins got the same gift from the Red Wings to stay alive. But without Marchand, the Bruins couldn’t weave the same comeback magic.

The Bruins were in a 1-0 hole going into the third. They had already gotten two cracks at the power play but couldn’t cash in on either. The first came at the 17:22 mark in the second period after a roughing penalty on Vladislav Namestnikov. Then, as the period ended, Michael Rasmussen was whistled for holding against Erik Haula.

But a mental lapse by Red Wings third-year defenseman Gustav Lindstrom opened the door for the yet another man-advantage for the Bruins.

David Pastrnak fires a third\-period shot at Detroit goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, who was also dealing with Taylor Hall at the same time. The puck appeared to get by the netminder, but the officials waved it off due to Hall's location.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

As Patrice Bergeron chased after a loose puck, Lindstrom cross-checked him into the boards. Almost instantly, Lindstrom realized how big of a mistake he had made. He turned his head, frustrated with himself, but barely had time to look up before David Pastrnak was there to give him a shove. Jakub Zboril jumped in to defend Bergeron, as well.

A hooking penalty on Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal gave the Bruins a five-on-three advantage, and they capitalized.


Pastrnak’s one-timer off a feed from Hall evened the score at 1.

Even though Lindstrom’s mistake gave the Bruins new life, a mental breakdown by defenseman Mike Reilly gave it right back.

Detroit's Marc Staal celebrates his third-period goal against the Bruins Tuesday night at TD Garden.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Reilly took a hit along the boards from Rasmussen and cross-checked him in retaliation. Reilly’s hit set up a delayed penalty and, with the extra attacker, the Red Wings immediately took advantage, getting a goal on a snap shot from Staal that ended up being the difference-maker.

Marchand thrives in moments like the tense ones in the third period. But Sacco said the team was ready for it, even though the results didn’t go their way.

“I thought our guys were prepared to play tonight when the puck dropped,” Sacco said. “I thought that our guys had good jump. I thought the bench had good energy during the course of the game. Obviously, Brad provides an element to our team that we miss and that we’re going to miss for the next two games, no question, but I thought our group did a good job for the most part being ready to play. They were dialed in and we had good intensity during the course of the game.”

Filip Zadina got the Red Wings on the board in the second period, breaking free after a Charlie Coyle giveaway and beating Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark with a backhand for his fourth goal of the season.

The Bruins had 14 players land shots on the net. Point-blank opportunities — such as Hall’s whiff on a one-timer on a pass from Charlie McAvoy in the second period — passed them by. The top line combined to go 1 for 17.


“Those are games in the schedule that when you play like that, you want to come away with points, and obviously that’s something we’ve got to do better at,” Hall said. “I feel like on the majority of nights during the season, we’ve controlled play and haven’t had the record that we want.”

Julian Benbow can be reached at julian.benbow@globe.com.