NHL: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings

Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman makes a save on Red Wings right wing Filip Zadina during the second period of Sunday’s game in Detroit.

The Boston Bruins entered the weekend needing not only to capture four of a possible four points, but getting balanced scoring was also imperative after Bruce Cassidy changed up his top three lines coming out of the extended COVID-induced break.

Check and check.

After getting goals from their top three lines in their comeback overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, the Bruins got a pair of fourth-line goals, a tally each from the top two lines and one from the back end to beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 at Little Caesars Arena on Sunday.

The Bruins took a 2-1 lead after two periods and then broke it open with three unanswered goals in the third. Jeremy Swayman (22 stops) also made the big saves when they were needed.

The win over the Wings allowed Boston to leapfrog Detroit for the second wild card spot in the playoff structure.

The Bruins had a strong first period — outshooting the Wings 15-6 with more than a half dozen legitimate scoring chances — but could get to the first intermission with only a 1-1 tie.

Detroit got on the board first at 11:28 with a fortunate goal by Tyler Bertuzzi, though an unforced icing from the Bruins had a hand in it, too. After the faceoff win, Danny DeKeyser took a shot from the blue line that hit a couple of skates along the way. It eventually landed on the stick of Bertuzzi, who was able to beat a helpless Swayman from the side of the net.

But the B’s put in the work to tie it up on a goal from the new top line that has brought a lunch pail in their first two games together. On the goal, Brad Marchand outworked two Wings along the boards to get the puck to Craig Smith behind the net. Smith dished it out front to Patrice Bergeron, who beat Alex Nedeljkovic for his 11th goal of the season at 14:47.

The temperature went up in the second period. First, Marchand started a scrap with Vladislav Namestnikov and both went off for seven minutes, stick fouls added to the fighting majors.

Then, in a scrum in front of the Bruins net, Swayman and Sam Gagner took liberties with each other, earning two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalties each.

Overall, the Wings were better than they were in the first, holding a 10-8 shot advantage in the second, but it was the Bruins who took the lead in the second. And for the second straight day, the offense was generated by a source they need to get going.

After Nick Foligno scored his first goal as a Bruin on Saturday, Erik Haula notched his second in a Boston uniform and first since Nov. 13, giving the B’s a 2-1 lead at 7:37. Gathering a loose puck in his own zone off a missed Detroit shot, Haula took it from his own half board down the left wing and, from the left circle dot, he beat Nedeljkovic with a bar-down snipe.

Haula very nearly gave the Bruins a two-goal lead on a shorthanded bid late in the period but his backhander hit the post and Boston went into the third protecting a one-goal lead.

But the Bruins eventually did get that two-goal lead at 5:59 of the third. Boston maintained possession in the offensive zone, and Charlie Coyle fed Taylor Hall out high on the left wing and Hall made a terrific cross-ice pass to a pinching Charlie McAvoy and the defenseman buried his fifth of the year.

Then the fourth line, the only forward grouping held off the board on Saturday, got into the act. Trent Frederic gave the B’s a 4-1 lead at 7:55 with his first of the year when he scored off a rebound of a Mike Reilly shot off the rush.

And it was the fourth line that turned it into a rout at 10:39. Oskar Steen fed Tomas Nosek on the a rush and the former Red Wing scored between Nedeljkovic’s pads for his third of the year.