By: Mandi Mahoney | Check me out on Twitter @phonymahoney
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Danton Heinen
Peter Cehlarik – David Krejci – Jake DeBrusk
Joakim Nordstrom – Trent Frederic – David Backes
Sean Kuraly – Noel Acciari – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Kevan Miller
John Moore – Brandon Carlo
Rickard Rakell – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Daniel Sprong – Adam Henrique – Troy Terry
Devin Shore – Derek Grant – Jakob Silfverberg
Max Jones – Ryan Kesler – Carter Rowney
Cam Fowler – Michael Del Zotto
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Jaycob Megna – Brandon Montour
Bruce Cassidy rolled out his fourth line for the initial puck drop. After a little bit of back-and-forth between the Bruins and Ducks, Boston was able to gain the offensive zone and create a few scoring chances. After receiving a cross-zone feed from David Krejci, Brandon Carlo flung a shot toward Boyle, who made the save. The rebound squirted out toward Peter Cehlarik, who attempted to bang it into the net, but ended up going an inch or two wide.
A little more than five minutes into the first, Torey Krug let a shot go from the point, with Boyle making the save. The Ducks turned the puck back over to Krug, who dished it to Sean Kuraly. Kuraly fed it to Brandon Carlo at the left point, and he let a bomb of a slap shot rip, which Noel Acciari deflected past Boyle for his second goal of the season. The Bruins are up 1-0, and welcome back their secondary scoring.
The next several minutes of play would consist of neither team being able to accomplish anything offensively. Halak and Boyle each made a couple of decent saves, but there were no particularly threatening scoring chances. The Ducks have been 3-15-4 since December 18, and could really use guys like Charlie Conway and Adam Banks on their roster this season.
With a little under four minutes left in the period, Ducks rookie Max Jones would take a pass from Brandon Montour up the left wing and try to deke around Jaroslav Halak, who would rob him. Montour shot the rebound wide, and the net was knocked off its moorings. After the resulting faceoff, play would resume with the Ducks being stronger on the puck than the Bruins, but still not being able to tie the game.
Kuraly won the opening draw against Getzlaf. Deep in Anaheim’s zone, Kuraly would pass to Chara at the point. A bouncing puck would hop over the Bruins’ captain’s stick and into the neutral zone. Ducks wing Rickard Rakell would beat Chara to the loose puck at the Bruins’ blue line, carry it up the right wing, and get it to Corey Perry, despite Chara and McAvoy’s best efforts. Jaroslav Halak made a glove save on the frustrated Perry.
At 4:58, Rickard Rakell landed in the penalty box for a holding minor. Patrice Bergeron won the faceoff to Boyle’s left, Jake DeBrusk nudged the puck to Krug at the point, who threaded a cross-zone pass to Krejci. Krejci dangled Boyle out of his pants (and about five feet out of the crease), shot at the net, where Cam Fowler and DeBrusk were fighting for their ice. DeBrusk redirected Krejci’s shot for his 16th goal of the season, and the Bruins went up 2-0. The lesson here is not to put the Bruins on the power play.
The Bruins weren’t great defensively for the rest of the period, but the Ducks didn’t seem to have much of a desire to capitalize and tie the game. There was sloppy play by both parties during the remainder of the second, with Boston giving the Ducks a 5-on-3, with Chris Wagner and John Moore landing in the box. The Bruins weren’t particularly effective, especially in their own zone, but Halak held onto the Bruins’ 2-0 lead through the second.
The third period opened with the Bruins mostly controlling play until a questionable holding call against Derik Grant, putting the Bruins on the man advantage. The Bruins created a couple of good scoring chances, but Anaheim’s defense held on for dear life – Boyle didn’t have to make any wild saves, as his blue liners had him covered.
The Bruins’ second line had a strong third period and generated several chances, all resulting in saves by Boyle. Slovak wing Peter Cehlarik was in good position all night and appeared as though he was destined to score, but it wasn’t to be.
At 10:56, Hampus Lindholm set up a road block for Brad Marchand behind Boyle’s net, landing the Swede in the box with an interference minor. Patrice Bergeron pounced on a rebound Boyle gave up, but the Ducks’ goaltender managed to jump on it and keep the Bruins to two goals. The Bruins would turn the puck over and allow a Derik Grant to gain the zone on a shorthanded bid, but Halak made the save. Anaheim would go on the man advantage almost immediately afterward, but their weak power play was unable to accomplish anything, other than one solid opportunity where Halak would save a Brandon Montour one timer.
Ducks Head Coach Bob Murray pulled Boyle in favor of the extra skater with just under three minutes left in the third period. At 18:29, former Duck Chris Wagner scored an empty net goal after Zdeno Chara sent a pass from behind the goal line to Kuraly at the point. Kuraly dished the puck across the neutral zone to Wagner, who sailed it into Anaheim’s net. Ducks are unable to score three goals in the next minute and a half, and the Bruins win 3-0.
The Bruins have now collected 15 points out of a possible 18 in their last nine games. They are currently third in the Atlantic Division with 74 points. They are only one point behind the Maple Leafs, but Toronto has a game at hand.
Third Star: Brandon Carlo played a good defensive game, managed to assist on Acciari’s goal, and didn’t appear to make any mistakes.
Second Star: David Krejci has been magical lately, and really makes his line mates better.
First Star: Jaroslav Halak. The Ducks could certainly have played better as they’re in a complete tailspin lately, but Halak definitely kept the Bruins afloat here.