Datsyuk's late goal lifts Detroit over Boston 1-0

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 18, 2014 at 10:44 pm •  Published: April 18, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins worked all season to get home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

It vanished with a flick of Pavel Datsyuk's wrist.

Just like that, on Datsyuk's goal with 3:01 left, the Detroit Red Wings got the upper hand with a 1-0 win in the opener of the best-of-seven playoff series Friday night.

"We know we're good enough," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said, "but it's one thing to know you're good enough and another thing to show it."

The Bruins won the Presidents' Trophy for the best record in the regular season — although they were 1-3 against the Red Wings — but were locked in a tight game in which neither team had many solid scoring opportunities. The eighth-seeded Red Wings made their last one count.

"It's a good start," Datsyuk said, "but we know there are many tough games (ahead)."

Game 2 of the first playoff matchup between the Original Six teams in 57 years is set for Sunday in Boston. And Detroit doesn't have to win there again to advance.

"I'll take home-ice advantage any time," Bruins coach Claude Julien said, "but that doesn't mean you can't win on the road ... which is what we have to do in this series if we plan on winning this."

Datsyuk, still not fully recovered from a knee injury, wasn't Detroit's only late-game star. His goal came moments after a brilliant glove save by Jimmy Howard on Milan Lucic's deflection in front of the net.

"It was pretty lucky," said Howard, who had 25 saves in his third career playoff shutout. Lucic "stuck his stick out and got a lot on it and it just sort of spun (off) my glove and I was just able to get enough of it."

The goal came when Datsyuk carried the puck from the right side to the left in Boston's zone while teammate Justin Abdelkader skated up the slot between Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton. Both defensemen fell as Datsyuk put a 30-footer past goalie Tuukka Rask's left glove.

"Abby did a great job, drove the middle, created space for him," Babcock said.

That may have distracted Rask.

"You just try to get the puck in your eyes and I couldn't," Rask said. "Usually, he tries to make a pass."

Puck handlers had very little space throughout the game.