Jarome Iginla isn’t the dominant force that he once was, but that will be fine with him if he gets his long awaited ring. He can still pitch in, and that is what he did on Thursday night as his deflection in overtime went in off a Red Wings defenseman to give the Boston Bruins a 3-1 series lead heading home.
Jonas Gustavsson was a surprise starter in the Red Wings net, after Jimmy Howard took the warmup but was ruled out with the flu, although speculation from some including TSN’s Bob MacKenzie wondered if it was an injury form the previous game. The Red Wings got a boost from the return of captain Henrik Zetterberg, who hadn’t played since the first game of the Olympics and the ensuing back surgery.
The Wings got out to a 2-0 lead on a first period power play goal by Niklas Kronwall and second period marker by Pavel Datsyuk as they played their style and didn’t allow the Bruins to get into their rugged forecheck.
However, the tide turned at some point, and the Bruins took control of the pace, and that didn’t work in the Red Wings’ favor. Torey Krug‘s power play goal just past the midway point of the second period got them on the board. Milan Lucic scored early in the third to tie it up and the ensuing 18 minutes plus 13 minutes of overtime was some of the most exciting and entertaining hockey you will ever see. Gustavsson and Tuukka Rask were stellar in their respective nets, and there were numerous scoring chances. Brad Marchand missed two wide open nets, and Justin Abdelkader had a breakaway early in OT that was turned aside by Rask.
Then a harmless looking wrist shot by Dougie Hamilton from the side boards was tipped by Iginla halfway to the net and then it hit defenseman Danny DeKeyser before getting past Gustavsson to win the game and put the Red Wings on the brink of elimination.
They will try to stave of that elimination and try to get another game in Detroit by winning game 5 in Boston Saturday afternoon, while the Bruins will be looking to end it on their first opportunity.