(Photo Credit: Associated Press/Winslow Townson)
Home: Boston Bruins
Away: Anaheim Ducks
Marchand – Krejci – Pastrnak
Nordstrom – Cave – Backes
Donato – Forsbacka-Karlsson – Heinen
Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner
Grzelcyk – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Moore – Kampfer
Aberg – Getzlaf– Kase
Ritchie – Henrique – Sprong
Cogliano – Kesler – Silfverberg
Gibbons – Rowney – Sherwood
Larsson – Manson
Lindholm – Montour
Mahura – Dotchin
The Bruins came into this one 0-8-1 in their last nine games against the Ducks. So they came in with some demons to take care of. The Ducks had won eight of their last ten games entering this one. Jaroslav Halak is 6-0-1 at home this season. It was anyone’s game based on these contrasting numbers.
John Moore took an early tripping penalty three minutes in. The Ducks sat in the power play basement at 25th in the NHL, the Bruins penalty kill was 22nd before both were tested for the first time. The Bruins won this time and killed the penalty successfully, the Ducks failed to record a shot on goal.
Just under four minutes later, Andrew Cogliano reciprocated Moore’s penalty and went to the box for a tripping penalty of his own. The Bruins held the 5th best power play in the NHL, the Ducks penalty kill held the 14th best penalty kill. Boston failed to convert on the power play, and Danton Heinen went to the box for interference with four seconds left in the man advantage. For what it’s worth, I’m not sure knocking a stick out of someone’s hands, like Heinen did, should be considered interference. It was whistles galore early on for the referees. Anaheim didn’t convert on the power play.
Joakim Nordstrom nearly set Colby Cave up to break the ice in the final 30 seconds of the period, but Cave was robbed by the sprawling pad of John Gibson. It was a pretty slow period until the last few minutes or so. The shots were 8-7 in favor of the Bruins. Anaheim had 12 giveaways to the Bruins four giveaways. This one was up for grabs after 20 minutes.
The tempo was a bit more lively to start the second frame. Close to eight minutes in, as David Pastrnak went to step around Hampus Lindholm, Lindholm interfered with him to impede his progress and took a penalty as a result.
Speaking of Pastrnak, he caught a sweet no-look pass from Torey Krug to break the ice on the man advantage off of a one-timer, his 22nd of the season. Krug’s 17th assist gave him 200 as a Bruin, passing Mike O’Connell for the most by a U.S. born player in Bruins history. David Backes’ sixth assist of the season marked the 300th of his NHL career.
Another iffy penalty call came in the form of a slashing penalty on Brad Marchand. Anaheim went to the man advantage a little bit past the midway point of the period. Halak made a great save on Brandon Montour on the back door on the penalty kill. Yeah, I rhyme when I write on occasion. No dice for Anaheim on the power play, one shot on goal, and it was stopped in spectacular fashion.
Halak continued the stellar play with a pair of consecutive saves on Pontus Aberg and Ondrej Kase. Flip the script and Brad Marchand found himself on the receiving end of a slash this time. The power play ended quickly on a “tic-tac-goal” by Krug as coined by Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards. The whole sequence happened so quickly that Anaheim didn’t even touch the puck. The goal marked Krug’s fourth of the season and second point of the game, Marchand’s 24th assist, and Pastrnak’s 21st assist and second point of the game.
In a period that had more tempo and liveliness to it, the Bruins outshot the Ducks again, 10-8. The overall shots after two were 18-15 Bruins. Momentum was in favor of the home team heading into the third period.
Score: 2-0 Boston
Brandon Carlo took a hooking penalty on Brian Gibbons early in the period, giving Anaheim a chance to inject some life into this game on their end. The Bruins’ penalty-killing units continued their spotless night and brought the game back to even strength unscathed.
David Krejci continued his point streak to eight games just after the conclusion of the Anaheim power play with his seventh goal of the year and the 600th point of his NHL career. It’s a milestone kind of night for the Bruins. Like Krug’s goal, Marchand (25) and Pastrnak (22) had the helpers.
Dress with style, score with style. Krejci is on fire. Marchand drew another penalty, this time a hooking call on Ryan Getzlaf. The Bruins were 2 for 3 heading into this power play, but failed to score. Halak continued his dominance throughout the period to the end.
Josh Mahura beat Halak late from the point to spoil the shutout with just over four minutes to go for his first career goal. Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour went to the locker room in the final few minutes after colling with Lindholm on the bench. The Ducks made things a bit interesting late with the Mahura goal and by pulling the goalie, albeit taking a while to do so.
Dating back to his shutout win against the Canadiens, Halak has stopped 46 of the last 47 shots that he has faced. The Bruins win their second game in a row. Next up are the Nashville Predators at TD Garden on Saturday at 1:00 PM ET for some matinee hockey.
Final Score: 3-1 Boston
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