Bruins’ West Coast Swing Begins in Anaheim

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Bruins' West Coast Swing Begins in Anaheim The Bruins begin a three-game West Coast road trip in Anaheim on Wednesday against a rejuvenated Ducks squad that has won four straight games.

The Bruins will be trying to erase a two-game losing streak against a team that humiliated the Bruins 6-1 in the first meeting between the two this season. The B's have revenge on their minds.

"Yeah, of course we remember [the loss]," said forward Milan Lucic. "They took care of us really good and embarrassed us, so you want to go out and even the score."

When And Where

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 10 p.m. (NESN)
Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.

Records

Bruins (22-15-7, 51 points, second place in Northeast Division, fifth place in Eastern Conference)
Ducks (20-19-7, 47 points, fifth in Pacific Division, 12th in the Western Conference)

Head to Head

This is the second of two meetings between the Ducks and Bruins. The Ducks embarrassed the Bruins at TD Garden on Oct. 8. Teemu Selanne scored two goals 82 seconds apart in the second period to give the Ducks the lead, and Corey Perry had two goals and an assist to help the Ducks pull away. Jonas Hiller was also stellar in net and made 33 saves.

The Bruins lead the lifetime series against the Ducks 11-8-2.

Skinny

The Bruins are struggling to score these days, and they realize they must get back to a grinding game and score goals in the dirty areas if they?re going to succeed.

"It seems cliché, I know — saying we need to go to the dirty areas — but once we start doing it on a regular basis, it?s evident that it works, just getting down low and creating some havoc in front," said forward Blake Wheeler. "It?s always nice to get rewarded for dirty goals like that. I like to be in front of the net — it?s where I belong — and I need to be doing it more often than not."

The Ducks' winning streak has been due, in large part, to the resurgence of goaltender Jonas Hiller. With the exception of a 5-2 New Year?s Eve loss to Dallas, Hiller has allowed two or fewer goals in 10 of his 11 starts since Dec. 12. His has posted a 2.11 goals average and a .936 save percentage over his last 12 starts. On Sunday, Hiller stopped 42 shots, enabling his team to win 3-1 at Chicago despite being outshot 43-12.

"I thought he stepped up and obviously played a game where he was probably single-handedly the most effective player on the ice," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "And that's what you ask from your guy. You don't ask for him to win you the game, but you ask him to give you a chance. He went above that. He won the hockey game for us."

Projected Lineups

Bruins
Forwards
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Marco Sturm–Mark Recchi–Miroslav Satan
Milan Lucic–Steve Begin–Byron Bitz
Daniel Paille–Trent Whitfield/Vladimir Sobotka–Shawn Thornton

Defensemen
Zdeno Chara–Dennis Wideman
Adam McQuaid/Mark Stuart–Johnny Boychuck
Matt Hunwick–Derek Morris

Goaltenders
Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

Ducks
Forwards

Matt Beleskey–Ryan Getzlaf–Corey Perry
Bobby Ryan–Saku Koivu–Dan Sexton
Todd Marchant–Kyle Chipchura–Troy Bodie
Mike Brown–Petteri Nokelainen–Teemu Selanne

Defensemen
Scott Niedermayer–James Wisniewski
Ryan Whitney–Steve Eminger
Sheldon Brookbank–Brett Festerling

Goaltenders
Jonas Hiller
Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Goaltender Matchup

Bruins
Tim Thomas is 12-11-5 with a 2.44 GAA and .918 save percentage. Thomas has four shutouts.

Tuukka Rask is 10-4-2 with a 1.92 GAA, .933 save percentage and two shutouts. Rask is second in the NHL in GAA and save percentage.

Ducks
Jonas Hiller
is 16-12-2 with a 2.72 GAA and .918 save percentage. Hiller has one shutout.

Jean-Sebastein Giguere is 4-7-5 with a 3.06 GAA and .899 save percentage. Giguere has one shutout.

Stat Sheet

Bruins
Patrice Bergeron leads the team in points with 31 (11 goals, 20 assists).

Zdeno Chara assisted on the team?s lone goal on Saturday and leads the team in assists with 23. He is tied for second in points with 26. Chara also leads the defense in assists and points.

Blake Wheeler has four goals in his last three games. He has 11 goals and is tied for second on the team in points with 26.

Mark Recchi has four points in his last six games and is third on the team in points with 25.

David Krejci had an assist on Saturday and now has five points in his last five games. Krejci has 16 helpers and 24 points this season.

On Saturday, Dennis Wideman scored his first goal in his last 15 games. He now has three goals and 11 points this season.

The Bruins killed off all four Rangers power plays on Saturday. Boston has allowed only 19 goals on 157 power plays faced and lead the NHL with an 87.9 percent success rate.

The Bruins' power play was 0-for-2 on Saturday, and it is 28-for-153 with an 18.3 percent success rate.

Ducks
Corey Perry
is riding a four-game points streak after a 13-game slump in which he had no goals and just four assists. Perry leads the Ducks with 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists).

Ryan Getzlaf has three points in his last four games and leads the team in assists with 33. Getzlaf is second on the team in points with 44.

Bobby Ryan leads the team with 20 goals and is third in points with 36.

Former Habs captain Saku Koivu scored his 10th goal of the season on Sunday, which extended his streak of seasons with a double-digit goals total to seven. Koivu also has a team-high plus-7 rating. He is fourth on the team in points with 28.

Teemu Selanne scored in his second consecutive game since returning from a five-week absence because of a broken bone in his left hand. Selanne has 16 goals and 23 points in 29 games played.

The Ducks' penalty kill has allowed 41 goals on 195 power plays faced for a 79 percent success rate.

The Ducks' power play is 33-for-164 with a 20.1 percent success rate.

Black and Blue

Bruins
Marc Savard
is out a minimum of two to three weeks with a knee injury.

Andrew Ference is out for at least five more weeks with an injured groin.

Patrice Bergeron will be out for two weeks with a broken thumb. Bergeron, however, is skating and practicing with a splint.

Mark Stuart (broken sternum) is on injured reserve but could return during this road trip.

Ducks
Joffrey Lupul
underwent surgery on Dec. 17 to repair a herniated disc in his back and is expected to be out until at least February.

This Date in Bruins History

Stan Jonathan scores a hat trick in a 6-3 win over the now-defunct Colorado Rockies on Jan. 13, 1980.

Overheard

"It?s not a different mind-set. It?s one that made us as successful as we were last year. We had a swagger about us that, any time there?s a loose puck, we weren?t going to lose it, just because we thought we were the best team on the ice every night. It was sort of a theme that we bought into, that everyone knew that the next guy was going to buy into that, and if you didn?t do it, you were going to look bad. We?ve done it in spots this year, and when we did it, we looked like the same team we were before. When we didn?t do it, we?ve looked like not such a great team.?
–Blake Wheeler on him and his teammates needing to get back to a gritty, physical and defensive-minded game style

Press Box

Bruins
The Bruins are looking to get back to basics on this three-game roadie out West.

Milan Lucic is trying get his groove back.

The Bruins never know who may be on which line or in which defensive pairing due to constant injuries.

Ducks
What a difference a week made for the Ducks.

The Ducks are playing better defensive hockey.

The Ducks are back in the playoff race.

NHL
Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows claimed that referee Stephane Auger?s calls against him on Monday night were part of a personal vendetta.

An FSN Pittsburgh producer is being punished for hiding all the evidence on a disputed goal.

Here are one writer?s ideas on what it will take for each team to land Thrashers sniper Ilya Kovalchuk.

Outlook

The Bruins seem to have accepted the fact now that they have no choice but to play a defensive-minded, trap-like game while their top two centers, Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard, recover from injuries. This may be a blessing in disguise because, as Wheeler pointed out above, the Bruins are usually winning when they play such a style.

The Bruins will be playing a team that is also at its best when it uses a defense-first approach, so this promises to be a low-scoring affair if both teams keep their promises and play stingy hockey. If so, the Bruins will once again need to find a way to stay out of the box and hopefully draw some power plays against a less-than-average Ducks penalty kill. The key will be to get their less-than-average power play going. Expect this game to be won between the pipes and on special teams.

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