Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson, right, and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson protect the net against Boston’s Reilly Smith on Monday afternoon.
BOSTON — Jonas Gustavsson didn't have a lot of time to plan for his first action of the season.
Gustavsson didn't find out until nearly game time that Detroit's No. 1 goaltender Jimmy Howard was going to be sidelined with a catching hand injury. The backup stopped 28 shots and led the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Monday afternoon.
"Maybe 15, 20 minutes before the game started," Gustavsson said. "It felt good. I was excited to play. It's always fun to go out and have your first game, especially when we have a chance to win."
The Red Wings (4-2) had to hang on right until the last second to get their second straight victory.
Milan Lucic's 100th career goal sliced it to 3-2 with 1:20 to play. With Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask pulled for an extra skater, Boston had the puck in Detroit's zone for nearly all of the final 80 seconds.
Stephen Weiss and Daniel Cleary scored second-period goals for the Wings. Henrik Zetterberg had the other score.
Loui Eriksson had Boston's other goal. The Bruins had a two-man power-play advantage for nearly two minutes early in the third period, but couldn't mount a comeback.
"It looks like we're feeling the pressure of not scoring goals," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "Our goal-scoring confidence is not where we need it to be and we've got to get that straightened out."
Gustavsson bobbled a few shots in the opening period, but improved as the game went on. He made a pair of stops on Jarome Iginla's shots from the left point when the Bruins had the two-man edge for 1:54 early in the third period.
"That's how it is usually in a game," Gustavsson said. "When you get your first shots on you, you grow into the game. I felt pretty good. The guys helped me a lot to feel good."
As for Howard, he didn't think he'd be able to play today at home against Columbus.
"Doubtful," he said. "We're really just going to have to wait and see. Hopefully, it'll heal fast."
Tuukka Rask made 24 saves for Boston (3-2).
Boston also had a power play with less than six minutes left, when Daniel Alfredsson was whistled for boarding, but failed to get any good scoring chances.
The Bruins went 0 for 5 on the power play.
"You go through it," Iginla said of still looking for his first goal of the season. "Sometimes it frustrates you and you do a little too much. There's no excuse. I've been through it before."
Weiss' score pushed the Red Wings ahead 2-1 midway into the second period. Johan Franzen fired a pass from the left corner to Weiss alone in front and he beat Rask with a wrister inside the left post.
Detroit then made it 3-1 on Cleary's goal 2:20 later when he slipped a shot by Rask inside the right post after collecting Alfredsson's from the side of the net.
Coreau sent down to backstop Walleye
Rookie goaltender Jared Coreau has been assigned to the Toledo Walleye from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League.
Coreau, 21, played three seasons at Northern Michigan University before signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Detroit Red Wings in April.
Coreau made his pro debut in Grand Rapids' 4-3 loss to Toronto on Saturday. Coreau had 22 saves on 26 shots that he faced.
The native of Perth, Ontario started in 38 games for Northern Michigan last season, posting a 15-19-4 record and a 2.70 goals-against average.
Coreau, who is 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, joins fellow rookie Mac Carruth in Toledo. Carruth (6-3, 176 pounds) stopped all 32 shots he faced and posted a shutout in Toledo's 3-0 win in a preseason contest against Kalamazoo on Saturday.
The Walleye also released goaltenders Brooks Ostergard and Neil Conway on Monday.