The Detroit Red Wings tried valiantly, but in the end, the Boston Bruins were simply too much for them.
The Red Wings made a game of it. After Eriksson opened the scoring, Pavel Datsyuk evened the game up at one. It stayed that way until Zdeno Chara's gut punch of a go-ahead goal, scored with four seconds remaining in the middle frame.
Boston held the lead the rest of the way. Lucic made it a two-goal cushion early in the third, and while Henrik Zetterberg and his incredible beard (which we will miss terribly) was able to halve the lead with just under four minutes remaining, the Red Wings would get no closer.
A too many men call about a minute later effectively ended Detroit's chances of staying alive. It had to be a tough way to go out. The Red Wings made the playoffs despite being chronically undermanned all year. To see their season end for having too many guys is a cruel, cruel irony from the hockey gods.
But we'll let someone else eulogize the Red Wings, instead looking ahead to what the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs has wrought: a bitter battle between the Bruins and the Canadiens, two teams who truly despise each other.
The Bruins are inarguably the better team on paper, but they've struggled with the Habs all year, dropping the season series 3 games to 1. This one is hardly a foregone conclusion.
One thing is for sure, though: expect a great deal more gamesmanship than sportsmanship from Boston and Montreal. At least from their media.