DETROIT — Boston is wary of the Detroit Red Wings’ speed, but it was the Bruins who were the swifter team on Tuesday night.
Goaltender Tuukka Rask made 22 saves for his fourth career playoff shutout and Boston beat Detroit 3-0 on Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena in Game 3 of the first-round playoff series.
The Bruins take a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 in Detroit on Thursday.
“We were skating well tonight … I thought we were closing gaps and able to be physical,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “You know, we can talk about being a physical team but you can’t be physical if you can’t skate and you can’t get there.”
Center Patrice Bergeron scored a goal and added an assist and defenseman Dougie Hamilton and right winger Jordan Caron also scored for Boston, the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.
“I think it was similar to the way we played at home (in Sunday’s 4-1 win in Game 2). Everyone was going and making plays,” Rask said.
Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard stopped 31 shots in the loss. The Red Wings only scored two goals in the series, winning Game 1 by a 1-0 score before losing Game 2, 4-1.
Detroit’s lineup is dominated by younger players.
“I don’t know why we were rattled, nervous or excited or whatever. I’m a veteran coach, I’ve been around a long time, maybe I should have known we’d be like that at home,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I was excited to start on the road. I thought it would be good for a young team to start on the road and you wouldn’t get all wound up. I had no idea we’d start like we did tonight.”
Bergeron’s empty-net goal with 1:59 left clinched it for the Bruins.
“That’s how we play. We do those things when we have success,” Bergeron said. “We are first on the puck and bothering their breakout.”
Boston left winger Brad Marchand hit the goal post from the bottom of the left circle 2:18 into the third period.
Detroit center Darren Helm hit the goal post almost eight minutes into the second period.
Boston led 2-0 after dominating the first period.
“We made some uncharacteristic mistakes there in the first and it gave them some life,” Red Wings defenseman Danny Dekeyser said. “They put home a couple goals right away there that took some life out of our sails right away there. We just have to be better. I thought we got better as the game went on. We still need to generate more quality chances and get to the net.”
Hamilton’s power-play goal nine minutes into the game opened the scoring when he beat Howard with a wrist shot from the left circle. It was the Bruins’ third power-play goal of the series.
“I just saw the shot availability and took it,” Hamilton said.
Caron made it 2-0 with 4:12 left in the opening period when he put in left winger Shawn Thornton’s rebound after a bad line change by Detroit.
“A good shot by Thornie and the puck came back in the slot and just tried to put it in,” Caron said.
NOTES: Boston last won a game in Detroit on March 11, 2007. … Detroit RW Daniel Alfredsson did not play because of a sore back. He was replaced in the lineup by C Joakim Andersson. … Boston RW Reilly Smith and Detroit D Brendan Smith are brothers. … Boston D Matt Bartkowski played his first game of the series after missing the first two with the flu. He replaced D Andrej Meszaros. … The Bruins have three players who are from Michigan and played college hockey in the state. Defensemen Torey Krug (Detroit suburb of Livonia) and Corey Potter (Lansing) played at Michigan State, and LW Justin Florek is from Marquette and played at Northern Michigan. … Red Wings D Jonathan Ericsson, who has been out since March 18 with a broken finger, hopes to have screws removed from his surgically repaired left hand this week. … Former Red Wing Sergei Fedorov was in attendance at the game.