Final, Ducks 4-3: "California Sun" by the Ramones is blaring at the Honda Center and the Ducks have beat the Bruins for their fifth straight win. The Bruins lose for the third straight time, unable to tie it on that final power play.
That was a hard-fought game by the Bruins and a surprisingly a high-scoring affair and wide-open game. But with the Bruins' big guns like Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron out of the lineup, this is a team that can't afford to be in games like this. As Claude Julien has pointed out numerous times, with the injuries this team has suffered, they need to play gritty, defensive hockey. Well, they played the former but not the latter. It must be pointed out that their defense is depleted as well with the likes of Andrew Ference and Mark Stuart out. But this team, while you don't want to hold back on creativity and offense, needs to really play better defense and clog up that neutral zone.
Kudos to Mark Recchi for once again leading the way out there, and also to David Krejci and Michael Ryder, who — while they didn't score — had numerous chances and seemed to be involved on every shift.
Third period, 1:12, Ducks 4-3: James Wisniewski is headed to the sin-bin for cross-checking and the Bruins will finish regulation and possibly overtime on the power play.
The Bruins created a lot of traffic in front and had some chances leading to Wisnewski's penalty.
Tuukka Rask has been pulled for the extra attacker.
Third period, 4:46, Ducks 4-3: Miroslav Satan just took an ill-advised high-sticking penalty and the Bruins are going to be short-handed late in the game, trailing by a goal. The Ducks are 1-for-3 on the power play tonight.
That was a tough sequence for the Bruins as they pressured the Ducks for a couple shifts but couldn't score.
Third period, 8:29, Ducks 4-3: Teemu Selanne just took a Ryan Whitney slapper off the face and is not getting up. Not fun to see one of the game's best snipers ever laying there, and youhad to like the respect shown by fellow Finn Tuukka Rask as he skated over to make sure Selanne was OK.
Third period, 11:53, Ducks 4-3: The Ducks have regained the lead for the first time since leading 1-0 in the first period. Steve Eminger tapped in a rebound of a Bobby Ryan wrister with a sprawled out Tuukka Rask helpless on the ice.
That aforementioned hustle and skating has disappeared from the Bruins' play over the last five minutes.
Third period, 13:48, 3-3: This is obviously not the tight, defensive game Claude Julien would prefer on the road, but the Bruins are still tied in a run-and-gun game in the final period and have answered every Ducks' goal so far. They're skating hard and just need to remain focused on their game plan.
Third period, 18:01, 3-3: Ryan Getzlaf has tied the game for the Ducks in that always vulnerable minute after a power play.
The Bruins tend to always allow a solid chance right after they fail to convert on a power play and it burned them again there. James Wisniewski and Todd Marchant had the helpers. Guess Wisniewski is OK.
Third period, 18:59, Bruins 3-2: Jonas Hiller just robbed David Krejci on a one-timer feed from Dennis Wideman and we're underway in the third period. Great cycling of the puck by Boston on the power play.
End of second period, Bruins 3-2: A great period for the Bruins as they get their wheels back and out-skate the Ducks en route to a one-goal lead after two periods in Anaheim.
Earlier this week, I wrote about how the younger players on the team are trying to emulate Mark Recchi and Derek Morris on tip-in goals. Well, I guess I forgot to mention Recchi's passing. The "Wrecking Ball" made two perfect passes, using patience and vision which made it easy for Matt Hunwick and Marco Sturm to score their goals.
Also, David Krejci made a sweet pass of his own to Zdeno Chara, feeding him at the point. The real key, though, was skating and hustle. The Bruins had plenty of it there and, as always seems to be the case even when they're missing key players, they're being rewarded when they work hard. That effort also drew another power play for the Bruins and they will start the final frame on the man-advantage.
Second period, 5:16, Bruins 3-2: Marco Sturm just broke a four-game scoreless streak to regain the lead for the Bruins. Mark Recchi once again did a great job on setting up the goal with a perfect pass, and Miroslav Satan got the secondary assist.
The Bruins are skating much better this period and it is paying off on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately, they will have to skate even harder now to kill a Dennis Wideman delay-of-game penalty. The Ducks are 1-for-2 tonight.
Second period, 8:13, 2-2: Matt Beleskey just tied the game for the Ducks, and this game continues to be a lot more wide open than one might have expected.
Former Bruin Petteri Nokelainen and Corey Perry had the helpers.
Second period, 10:11, Bruins 2-1: Possibly due to the Michael Ryder and James Wisniewski incident that led to the Bruins' tying goal, the Ducks are mixing it up and frustration is boiling over. There was a huge scuffle by the Bruins' net.
Second period, 12:52, Bruins 2-1: Wow! What a turn of events here in the second period. The roles have reversed much like they did when the Ducks beat the Bruins back in October after being outplayed in the first period of their 6-1 win.
Matt Hunwick just scored his sixth of the season on a beautiful rush by the Bruins. Mark Recchi fed the one-timer to Hunwick. Marco Sturm gets the other helper.
Second period, 16:00, 1-1: Zdeno Chara has redeemed himself for that empty-netter he missed at the end of the opening frame and the Bruins have tied the game.
Michael Ryder and James Wisniewski got tangled up racing for the puck to the right of the Anaheim net, and as they went down, the puck popped loose to David Krejci. He took it and passed it out to Chara for the blast from the point. Wisniewski was hurt on the play and has left the game.
End of first period, Ducks 1-0: After allowing the Bruins two short-handed bids, the Ducks go the other way and Dan Sexton buried a rebound past Tuukka Rask to break a scoreless tie with 45. 9 ticks left in the opening frame. The Ducks head to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.
Bobby Ryan had the first chance but Rask made a save. Unfortunately, Sexton was right there for the rebound. James Wisniewski had the other helper.
Byron Bitz and Kyle Chipchura fought on the ensuing faceoff. Also, Zdeno Chara missed an open net and failed to tie the game.
That was a tough way to end the period after the Bruins did a great job actually creating offense short-handed, and after Rask was sensational in net. But overall, the Bruins allowed Anaheim too many quality chances, and as I said before, they are invisible in the neutral zone. The Ducks are moving the puck with ease and this is a much more wide open game than expected. The Bruins need to counter with a better skating game and stop playing a prevent type of game. As the famous saying goes, "Prevent defense prevents you from winning."
First period, 2:34: Vladimir Sobotka is in the sin bin for a questionable tripping call and the Ducks are on their second power play. They're 0-for-1 tonight after not scoring on that Matt Hunwick penalty.
First period, 6:18: Matt Hunwick is off to the penalty box for interference and the Ducks are on their first power play.
First period, 6:55: That's what we're talking about as Michael Ryder and Matt Hunwick get two solid chances there. The Bruins need to shoot more and just get to the net and be aggressive.
First period, 8:51: The Bruins are understandably taking a defensive and conservative approach being on the road, but they're allowing the Ducks too much space going through the neutral zone right now and they need to stop playing on their heels. If not for Tuukka Rask, they could be getting smoked right now!
First period, 11:54: In their first meeting, the Bruins outshot the Ducks in the first period but still lost 6-1. Right now the Ducks are controlling the game. Could the roles be reversed?
First period, 15:49: Adam McQuaid just had his first NHL fight as he did the tango with Troy Brodie. Have to call it a draw, but good for McQuaid not being afraid to get into it physically.
First period, 15:52: Tuukka Rask is already a busy man as the Ducks have had two legit scoring chances. The Ducks are a sneaky team as they play a trap-like game but can create offense as well.
First period, 19:27: Underway in the first period in Anaheim, and Tuukka Rask already had to make a big save. Bruins need a strong start here on the road.
10 p.m.: Almost ready for faceoff out in Anaheim and here's tonight's lineup for the Bruins as they try to snap a two-game losing streak.
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Marco Sturm–Mark Recchi–Miroslav Satan
Milan Lucic–Steve Begin–Byron Bitz
Daniel Paille–Vladimir Sobotka–Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara–Dennis Wideman
Adam McQuaid–Johnny Boychuck
Matt Hunwick–Derek Morris
6:08 p.m.: Word out of Anaheim is that Tuukka Rask will get his first start since Jan. 4. In that game, Rask gave up three goals in New York as the Rangers won 3-2.
3:31 p.m.: As if things haven't been hard enough for the Bruins lately, the B's begin a crucial three-game road trip out west against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Boston is already dealing with the loss of its top two centers Marc Savard (knee) and Patrice Bergeron (broken thumb) as more and more injuries continue to pile up.
The West Coast swing will also take them through San Jose on Thursday night and Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon.
But first, the Bruins (22-15-7, 51 points) must deal with the red-hot Ducks (20-19-7, 47 points), who bring a four-game winning streak into this one and have one of the hottest goalies in the league, Jonas Hiller between the pipes. Hiller has posted a 2.11 goals-against 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.
Manning the pipes for the Bruins has yet to be announced, but that most likely won't be the problem. The biggest problem for the Bruins lately is scoring and playing the stingy Ducks tonight will be just another challenge for this goal-starved Bruins team. This should be a tight, low-scoring game and the Bruins will need to stay out of the box and make the best of every chance they get.