"It was just a well-played game by everyone and I just tried to stand back there and make saves," Howard said.
David Krejci tallied for the Bruins, who couldn't maintain the momentum from Wednesday's rousing 8-6 win over Montreal. They will get another crack at Detroit at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday afternoon.
"We weren't skating tonight. We were always behind on the puck, and even when we had possession I felt we gave them time to make plays," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
Bertuzzi put the Wings on the board at 1:10 with a slapper from the right circle and Cleary doubled the advantage at 3:10 with a redirection of a Hudler pass into the slot.
Krejci potted Boston's first goal with just over two minutes left in the first, a power-play score off a dish from Milan Lucic.
Hudler gave Detroit a 3-1 edge only 69 seconds into the second period, then goals from Zetterberg (on the backhand) and Bertuzzi (off a bad giveaway by Rask) 24 seconds apart late in the second made it 5-1.
Pavel Datsyuk, Hudler and Holmstrom worked a slick passing play on the advantage and the third man in the sequence tallied with 6:09 to play to cap the rout.
"I thought we had a lot more urgency. It was great to see the guys respond like they did tonight," said Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom.
Detroit has won three of the last four meetings with Boston, and seven of 11 since the start of the 1995-96 season...Bertuzzi notched his 700th career point with his second goal of the game...The former first-round pick of the Islanders in 1993 now has recorded 283 goals and 417 assists in 996 NHL games since 1995...Boston's second-overall pick Tyler Seguin was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.