For the second time this season, the Boston Bruins were no match for the Anaheim Ducks.
Anaheim scored two early goals in rapid succession, then added two more in the 20 minutes to hand Boston a 4-0 loss and drop the Bruins to 0-2 on their three-game trip through the Pacific Division.
The Bruins are winless in five games this season against the Pacific’s top three teams (the Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings) and have allowed an average of 5.4 goals per game in those five losses.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Ryan Getzlaf intercepted a John-Michael Liles pass behind the Bruins’ net and found Hampus Lindholm in front for the Ducks’ third goal of the night.
The goal, which came 58 seconds into the third period, gave Anaheim a commanding 3-0 lead. Rickard Rakell added a fourth tally with 5:32 to play to put the game away.
HOT START? HARDLY
The game’s opening minutes certainly were not the finest of Adam McQuaid’s career. The Bruins defenseman took a tumble on his first shift of the night and went crashing into the corner boards, then had an unfortunate hand in Anaheim’s first goal mere minutes later.
Jamie McGinn’s shot from the left circle pinged off both McQuaid and fellow D-man Torey Krug before bouncing past goalie Jonas Gustavsson and into the Boston net.
The Bruins’ misfortune continued when, just over a minute later, Andrew Cogliano retrieved the puck in the neutral zone and blew past Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. Cogliano then fired a shot on net that hit Gustavsson in the shoulder and slowly trickled through the crease, and a trailing Ryan Kesler was there to hammer it home, giving the Ducks an early 2-0 lead.
Anaheim maintained that two-goal lead for the remainder of the first period, and while Boston was much more competitive in the second, it was unable to put any rubber past Ducks netminder Frederik Andersen. Andersen was perfect in the third, as well, stopping all 38 shots he faced to lock down his second shutout of his season.
Center Patrice Bergeron was the most effective at creating offense in the loss, finishing with a game-high seven shots on goal for Boston. Winger David Pastrnak chipped in with five shots on goal, while fourth-line center Noel Acciari contributed four.
Bruins winger Matt Beleskey spent his first seven seasons in the Ducks organization. His first game back at Honda Center included zero points, two shots on goal and a stick to the face late in the first period courtesy of Anaheim defenseman Simon Despres.
Despres’ high-stick went uncalled, and Beleskey had to be helped off the ice. He missed the remainder of the opening period but returned to the bench shortly after the start of the second.
CHARA DROPS ‘EM
Friday was Zdeno Chara’s 39th birthday, and the Bruins captain celebrated by fighting for the first time since Jan. 4, 2014.
Chara’s first bout in more than two years was a brief one, however. The hulking blueliner squared off with Anaheim’s Clayton Stoner but wound up on his back without landing a punch. Stoner showed an admirable level of restraint by letting up once Chara hit the ice.
HAYES TAKES A SEAT
Right wing Jimmy Hayes sat out the game as a healthy scratch after going without a point in his previous 10 contests. Brett Connolly moved up to fill Hayes’ usual slot on Boston’s third line, and Tyler Randell took Connolly’s spot on the fourth.
It was the first appearance in exactly a month for Randell, ending a streak of 13 consecutive healthy scratches.
The Bruins will wrap up their three-game California trip Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings, who handed the B’s their worst loss in nearly a decade when these teams met last month at TD Garden.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images