DETROIT — Gustav Nyquist broke a tie with 7:12 left in the third period, and the Detroit Red Wings held on to beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Wednesday night.
Nyquist, a former UMaine player, scored 1:42 after teammate Tomas Jurco tied the game. Goaltender Jimmy Howard, another former UMaine player, finished with 33 saves.
The NHL-leading and Atlantic Division-champion Bruins had won a franchise-record nine straight on the road and had earned at least a point in their previous 16 games. Boston led the Red Wings twice, but couldn’t put away the young, scrappy and short-handed team.
Detroit’s Tomas Tatar scored early in the second period to tie the game the Bruins were basically dominating. Tatar used his left skate to push the puck across the front of the crease to set up Jurco’s goal.
Nyquist didn’t need much help on his winner.
The Bruins turned the puck over near Detroit’s blue line, and Nyquist got to it. He raced up ice, skated around defenseman Zdeno Chara and ended his blurring sequence with a goal in his third straight game.
Nyquist has a league-high 23 goals since Jan. 20, giving the Red Wings the breakout player they have needed to boost their chances of extending their postseason streak to 23 seasons, while missing many key players, including Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.
Nyquist started the season with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins after scoring four goals in 40 games the previous two seasons.
Boston’s Tuukka Rask made 17 saves before being pulled for an extra skater with 1:14 left.
The Bruins held out 36-year-old forward Jarome Iginla because of a lower-body injury. Iginla played in Boston’s first 75 games, leading the team with 30 goals and ranking second with 61 points.
The Bruins outshot Detroit 11-4 in the first period and 14-7 in the second before seemingly playing less aggressively in the third when they went ahead.
Johnny Boychuk’s slapper put the Bruins up 1-0 late in the first and Carl Soderberg gave them a 2-1 lead early in the third. Boychuk scored shortly after an apparent Boston goal was waved off because Chara was in the crease.
Tatar tied it 4:45 into the second with a wrist shot from the right circle that went across traffic and got past Rask as his view was obstructed by Detroit’s Riley Sheahan. Tatar, one of many young players who has taken advantage of the opportunity to play a lot for the banged-up team, has 19 goals.
The Bruins went back ahead 1:10 into the third when Soderberg scored from the left circle off a cross-ice pass from Patrice Bergeron.
Detroit, though, refused to go away quietly and rallied for a win that strengthens its spot as a wild-card team in the Eastern Conference with six games left.
NOTES: The Bruins hadn’t lost in regulation since March 1 in a 4-2 loss to Washington. … The Red Wings kept forward Daniel Alfredsson out of the lineup because of a lower-body injury. … Datsyuk skated with teammates Wednesday morning, but missed his 16th straight game because of an injured left knee. Datsyuk wouldn’t say if he expected to play Friday at home against Buffalo. … Bergeron extended his point streak to nine games.