Jarome Iginla scored with 6:28 remaining in overtime to give Boston the win Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock recently said the Stanley Cup playoffs is about playing like men, and while his team responded, Detroit couldn't hold its lead. Boston is one win away from ending this series.
Detroit had a few lineup changes for Game 4. Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg returned to game action for the first time since Feb. 8 and his presence gave Detroit and its fans an emotional boost. As soon as he stepped onto the ice for the pregame warm-up, the fans gave him a boisterous standing ovation. Also, Red Wings No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard did not play due to the flu, so backup Jonas Gustavsson started. It was his Stanley Cup playoff debut. He posted a 16-5-4 record with a .907 save percentage during the regular season for the Red Wings. Veteran Todd Bertuzzi also made his series debut for the Red Wings.
The Bruins' top line of Lucic, David Krejci and Iginla had been kept quiet this series until Thursday. In four games, Iginla now has one goal and two assists, Lucic has two goals and Krejci has an assist.
Game 4 included some missed opportunities for the Bruins. Brad Marchand grossly missed two open nets, once in the first period and again in the third period.
In the opening period, Detroit controlled the play and took advantage of its power play.
The Bruins' Justin Florek was given a double minor for high sticking at 10:56 of the first period and the Red Wings capitalized. With the faceoff to the left of Rask, Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk beat Krejci on the drop as the puck made its way back to Kronwall at the point. Bertuzzi was screening Rask when Kronwall's shot beat the Boston netminder to the top right corner to give Detroit a 1-0 lead at 11:00. It was the first power-play goal the Bruins allowed in this series, after being a perfect 9-for-9 on the PK in the first three games.
The puck was bouncing the Red Wings' way in the first. Marchand had a golden scoring opportunity at the 15-minute mark, but his shot sailed wide. Boston defenseman Kevan Miller controlled the puck at the blue line and made a heads-up pass to Marchand, who was camped out on the back door. Gustavsson reached back with his stick, and even though he didn't get a piece of the puck, it forced Marchand to miss the net.
If not for Rask's heroics in the first period, Detroit's lead could have been much bigger. The Red Wings outshot Boston 15-5 in the first. Detroit also had five blocked shots in the opening period.
Boston had better jump to start the second period and produced a quick scoring chance when Gregory Campbell had the puck on the off-post, but Gustavsson made the save. The Red Wings quickly stifled Boston's energy when Detroit scored its second goal of the game at 4:27. Boston's top line of Lucic, Krejci and Iginla couldn't break the puck out of the zone, then the puck ended up behind Rask, who did not know where it was. Kronwall gained control and fed Datsyuk for the easy tap-in tally to give Detroit a 2-0 advantage.
The Bruins finally responded when they capitalized on their power play at 10:14 of the second period. With the faceoff to the left of Gustavsson, Bergeron won the draw cleanly back to Krug. The defenseman's shot from inside the blue line was redirected off a defender's stick and past Gustavsson to cut Boston's deficit to 2-1.
The Bruins tied the game at 2-2 early in the third period when Lucic scored his second of this series at 1:15. While his linemates were changing on the fly, Lucic stayed on the ice and broke to the net as teammate Carl Soderberg chased down the puck. He fed Lucic, who beat Gustavsson to the 5-hole.
Marchand should have given the Bruins the lead midway through the third period, but he missed a wide-open net after Krug faked the shot and passed Marchand the puck. Gustavsson was out of the net and Marchand simply shot it wide.
The game remained knotted at 2-2 and went to overtime to decide the winner. At the conclusion of regulation, Detroit had 22 blocked shots.
In overtime, it was Iginla with the winning goal.
The series shifts back to Boston for Game 5 on Saturday (3 p.m.) at TD Garden.