fb-pixel Skip to main content
Bruins 3, Red Wings 2

After a slow start, Bruins rally to beat Red Wings on Garnet Hathaway’s first goal as a Bruin

Patrice Bergeron (left) and teammates celebrate his game-tying goal during the second period Saturday afternoon.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

An early afternoon start appeared to catch the Bruins half asleep as they fell behind the Detroit Red Wings Saturday. Then came a wake-up call via a Patrice Bergeron pep talk as they rallied for a 3-2 win, the Bruins becoming the fastest NHL team to reach 50 victories, 64 games into the season.

After surrendering two goals in the opening 4:32, the Bruins (50-9-5) got back in contention as Hampus Lindholm and Bergeron converted in the second period, before Garnet Hathaway scored the decider at 13:54 of the final period.

It all started during a television timeout midway through the first period, Bergeron calling the Bruins together on the bench.


“It was just a re-set,” Bergeron said. “You know, it’s 10 minutes in, there’s a lot of time. Going back in the moment, forgetting what was behind us, and looking forward. Going back to playing our game and playing to our process and our details — that I believe in who we are and what we do.”

Not exactly “Win one for the Gipper,” but it did the trick. In fact, Bergeron’s speech might have been intended more to calm things down rather than as an adrenaline -booster. The Bruins seemed to be napping early, but once the alarm sounded — in the form of Red Wing goals by Andrew Copp, shorthanded at 1:36, and Alex Chiasson, at 4:32 on a power play — they were awake, smelling the coffee, and making caffeine-fueled charges around the rink.

Copp opened the scoring, firing past Linus Ullmark stick side from the right circle on a 2-on-1 break 26 seconds after a Moritz Seider tripping penalty. Chiasson then re-directed David Perron’s drive from the point on a power play for his first goal in four games with the Red Wings. The Bruins were reeling, chasing the game, and Perron was on the verge of making it a three-goal lead, but Dmitry Orlov recovered to catch him from behind midway through the period.


That was about the time Bergeron got to talking. And the Bruins got to playing their game.

Outshot, 15-10, in the first period, the Bruins started gaining momentum. David Pastrnak and Bergeron attempts were saved, before Bergeron set up a power-play goal off a rebound of a Connor Clifton drive, Robert Hagg penalized for hooking late in the period. The Bruins blanked on two power plays in a 3:55 span of the first two periods but they regained their composure and outshot the Red Wings, 14-1, over the first 10 minutes of the second period.

The Bruins might not have needed further encouragement, but coach Jim Montgomery got his two cents in after the first period.

“I said to the team, ‘If we start checking,’ ” Montgomery said, “ ‘I’ve seen you guys before when you guys are moving the puck like you are right now, we usually come back and win.’ So you could see our game coming. We needed to be a little harder without the puck.”

The Bruins’ barrage finally paid off as Lindholm cut the deficit, slotting a shot past Magnus Hellberg (35 saves) with Pavel Zacha screening at 12:43.

The Bruins got the equalizer but only after the Red Wings appeared to increase the advantage as Dylan Larkin fired past Ullmark (29 saves). However, the goal was nullified, Larkin penalized for interference after swatting away David Krejci’s stick. Within 43 seconds, Bergeron made it 2-2 with his 24th goal of the season, redirecting from Jake DeBrusk on a power play at 14:11.


By that time, the Bruins clearly had control. But the Red Wings (29-27-9) were not finished, and they went on the power play after Lindholm was called for interference 23 seconds into the final period, then had chances to regain the lead before Lindholm got a skate on Lucas Raymond’s pass to break up a two-on-one and Ullmark gloved Chiasson’s point-blanker.

“We just got back to being hard on the puck and holding onto it,” Bergeron said, “Bringing it on net, getting to the insides a little bit more, taking time and space away. When you’re able to do that you can sustain some pressure, some O zone time, and that’s when you get some momentum.”

Finally, Hathaway scored his 10th goal of the season — first since joining the Bruins — finishing back post off an A.J. Greer drive as the fourth line made the difference.

“They’re the ones that got us back in the fight and their work ethic throughout the season, ever since Garnet came in,” Bergeron said. “Tonight they were the best line — they got us going and a great goal.”

Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at frankdellapa@gmail.com.