Detroit Red Wings beat NHL's best team, Boston Bruins, for 2nd time this season

Red Wings center Valtteri Filppula, left, and Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara battle for the puck in the first period Sunday in Detroit. (AP photo)


AP Hockey Writer

DETROIT — The NHL’s worst team beat the best.


Andreas Athanasiou snapped a tie midway through the third period and scored an empty-net goal in the final minute, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

“When we’re playing good hockey and we get good goaltending, we’re going to give anybody a hard challenge,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “That’s just the way the NHL is. The parity’s at an all-time high.”

The Red Wings (14-39-4) are looking up at the rest of the NHL in the standings, but the rebuilding team has defeated the league-leading Bruins (34-11-12) in both of their games this season.

Boston had won six straight until the Red Wings stopped the streak with their second win in three games.

“Give Detroit credit for winning the hockey game, but I don’t think they were the better team,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.

Detroit had the better goaltender, like it did in the previous meeting.

Jonathan Bernier made 39 saves for the Red Wings. He also started Detroit’s win over Boston three months ago.

Boston’s Tuuka Rask stopped 17 shots while filling in for Jaroslav Halak, who was dealing with an upper-body injury that flared up Saturday morning.

The Red Wings, who have won five straight against the Bruins dating to last season, beat Boston 4-2 on Nov. 8. They play in Boston on Saturday and again in March.

Brendan Perlini put the Red Wings up early in the second period and Krug tied it early in the third.

Athanasiou restored Detroit’s lead on a power play. He sealed the victory by scoring again with 29 seconds left after Rask was pulled to give Boston an extra skater.

Detroit took its first lead 2:07 into the second when Perlini skated around defenseman Brandon Carlo and his wrist shot got past Rask.

It was Perlini’s first goal in 31 games this season. He was acquired in a trade with Chicago in October.