In a game that was billed as a battle of the blue lines, the Ducks topped the Bruins in a high-scoring, 4-3 affair at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Wednesday, earning their fifth consecutive win.
The B's fell behind 1-0 in the first after Dan Sexton scored on an open net, but they reeled off three goals in the second frame to take a 3-2 lead heading into the intermission. Boston surrendered its lead on a Ryan Getzlaf goal in the first minute after a power play early in the third period, and Steve Eminger tacked on the deciding goal six minutes later.
Zdeno Chara, Matt Hunwick and Marco Sturm scored for the Black and Gold, and Mark Recchi notched two assists.
Matt Beleskey also lit the lamp for Anaheim.
Headliner: After surrendering three goals in the second period, the Ducks headed into the final intermission with very little in terms of confidence — but they came to play in the third, scoring twice in the frame to come from behind and take the lead. Ryan Getzlaf scored two minutes into the period (and right after he got out of the box for a slashing penalty). Later, Bobby Ryan put the puck on the net from the left circle and Tuukka Rask deflected it off his chest before Steve Eminger slipped the rebound past him for the deciding goal.
Grinder: Mark Recchi's veteran presence proved valuable on Wednesday night in Anaheim, as he earned assists on Matt Hunwick's and Marco Sturm's goals. The forward was instrumental in setting up perfect passes on both tallies — one of which tied the game and one of which was shorthanded and gave the B's the lead.
Netminder Tuukka Rask, starting the first of back-to-back games, kept the game in reach for the Bruins in the first period. He faced five shots in the first 10 minutes of play and kept the game in reach until his offense came around to support him. Rask finished with 28 saves on 32 shots.
Weak Link: There were plenty of good fights on Wednesday night. Byron Bitz's bout with Kyle Chipchura was not one of them. The B's forward looked like he wanted no part of Chipchura's wrestling match, and it showed — he headed into the box with a couple of new shiners and plenty of evidence that he needs to spend more time learning from Shawn Thornton (or rookie Adam McQuaid, who held up pretty strong against Troy Brodie).
Key Moment: Everything was going perfectly for the Bruins as they headed into the second intermission. Not only had they just come from behind to score three goals in the period and take a 3-2 lead, but they were heading into the third frame with 1:45 remaining on a power play.
Not only did the man advantage fail to score in the opening minutes of the third, but as soon as Ryan Getzlaf got out of the box, the B's allowed him to score the tying goal. With the momentum decidedly back in Anaheim's favor, the Ducks added on a fourth goal to take the lead six minutes later.
With Boston's offense banged up as bad as it is, the Bruins can't afford to be giving up four goals — and they especially can't afford to lose on the road when they head into the second intermission with a lead. They need to start finding a way to grind out games until the offense gets back into shape.
Up Next:It's a quick turnaround for the B's, who head up to NorCal for a battle with the Pacific Division-leading Sharks, who are up 10 points on the second-place Coyotes. It's always exciting to visit former Boston captain Joe Thornton, but Boston will have its hands full with San Jose's powerful offense, which also features new addition Dany Heatley.
Patrick Marleau leads the Sharks in goals with 31, while Jumbo Joe leads in assists with 49.