Talking Points from B's 4-2 loss to Wings: B's pushed around in defeat

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It was a physical, chippy battle that bordered a melee at one point, as the Bruins took a 4-2 loss at home to the Red Wings. Here are my biggest talking points from Saturday night's loss:

GOLD STAR: He only scored one goal when it was all said and done, but Dylan Larkin was a dominant force for the Red Wings. He finished with the second of Detroit’s four goals on the night, led the Red Wings with six shots on net and had a whopping 12 overall shot attempts in his 22:37 of ice time. But that isn’t even the end of it. Larkin also had three takeaways while using his speed and his smarts, and took advantage of a banged up Bruins team down the middle to go a perfect 15-for-15 in the face-off circle. Amazingly Larkin was still a minus player at the end of the game, but there’s no denying he was all over the place when it came to making an impact on the game.

BLACK EYE: Really when it comes down to it, it’s the Bruins. They’re without Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller, their two toughest players, and opponents are taking liberties all over the ice against them. David Krejci has been blown up with mid-ice hits in the neutral zone in each of the last two games, Matt Grzelcyk was nailed with a dirty, sneaky hip check from Luke Glendening in the third period in a play that should have been called interference and the Wings generally had no fear coming after the Bruins. It’s been like this for a while with the Black and Gold where they just aren’t that big, physical tough team anymore, but it really becomes a problem when the few remaining tough guys on their roster are on the sidelines forcing Joakim Nordstrom to drop the gloves.

TURNING POINT: The game turned for the Bruins in the second period after they built up an early lead on a fluke goal from David Backes at the end of the first. The B’s gave up a couple of goals to Detroit to lose the lead, and could have given up a third if Thomas Vanek hadn’t been called for goalie interference in front of the Boston net. That put the B’s in chase mode for the rest of the game, and they never had another lead again as they couldn’t quite overcome Detroit after that. The second period has intermittently been a problem for the B’s this season, and it was again for them in Saturday night’s loss to the Wings.

HONORABLE MENTION: It was another strong game for David Backes, who scored his second goal of the season and again played a strong, solid game for the Black and Gold. Backes finished with three shots on net, three hits and went 5-for-10 in the face-off circle while providing the Bruins with some toughness along with some size and strength. Unfortunately he also lost a battle with Niklas Kronwall at the end of the third period that led to Detroit’s empty net goal, but you could also question whether it’s a penalty to tackle somebody with the puck as Kronwall pretty clearly did to Backes. Either way, Backes once again played well in what’s been a string of good efforts lately.

BY THE NUMBERS: 15-for-15 -- The perfect face-off performance for Dylan Larkin on Saturday night was a Bergeron-like tribute with No. 37 still out of the lineup.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “You’ve got to get at least one under your belt, right?” –Tuukka Rask, answering in the affirmative when asked if he was disappointed he wasn’t allowed to drop the gloves with Jimmy Howard during a heated second period that almost featured a goalie fight. 

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