(Photo Credit: Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

By Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter @adbblue

The Boston Bruins suffered their first defeat of their Centennial season losing 4-3 in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night. It was a game that seemed completely winnable all the way to the end. 

This was a game that leaves a sour taste in your mouth. It was not for a lack of effort either, as the Bruins showed up to play. They had an easy excuse that it was the first game back home from a west coast road trip, but that didn’t seem to phase them. 

The Bruins had a strong start, dominating the puck possession out of the gate. They had good puck movement as well. A play that stood out was a give-and-go by David Patrnak and Pavel Zacha, started by Jesper Boquvist. It ended in a great chance by Hampus Lindholm as the trailer, but his shot was smothered by Ducks goaltender John Gibson.

After a strong start, the Ducks got on the board first. Radko Gudas threw a puck to the net from the point that hit Hampus Lindholm’s skate in front and went in. That made it 1-0 Anaheim. The Bruins challenged the goal for goaltender interference, but it was unsuccessful, resulting in a delay of game penalty. It didn’t cost them, however, as they killed it off. 

The penalty kill remained strong as they fended off both minors against them in the period. Linus Ullmark was strong in the net, making eight first-period saves. That included a big save he made on Trevor Zegras, who got in alone behind the Bruin’s defense. It was a back-and-forth first frame, but Boston was a bit sloppy to end the period.

The second period was arguably the team’s best so far this season. They were shot out of a cannon. Matt Poitras drew a cross-checking penalty, and the Bruins power-play went to work. They tied it up when Pastrnak may have fanned on a shot, but it found Charlie Coyle in front, who buried it to make it 1-1. Boston. It was Coyle’s first of the season.

They kept it going during a four-on-four sequence when Matt Grzelcyk got his first beating Gibson five-hole on a one-timer. That made it a 2-1 game. The Bruins took over the game for a few minutes as they accumulated offensive zone time and generated plenty of chances. Despite Derek Forbort taking a cross-checking penalty, the penalty kill dominated. John Beecher missed an empty net on a great chance off the rush. 

After sitting back a little, the Bruins surged right back as Charlie McAvoy started a great rush from the defensive zone. He moved the puck over to Pastrnak, who put it on the net with Pavel Zacha in front, but it was Pastrnak who found his own rebound and buried it. That gave Boston a 3-1 lead. Linus Ullmark was solid again, making eight second-period saves.    

The Bruins kept the ball rolling in the third period. Head Coach Jim Montgomery mixed up the lines and got some pretty good results. They continued to create offensive chances despite not being able to find the back of the net. John Gibson made some big saves on high-danger chances and kept his team in the game.

It seemed like the Bruins had the game wrapped up, but after Patrick Brown took a roughing penalty with just over four minutes to go, it opened the door for an Anaheim comeback. The Ducks were relentless, and Boston couldn’t get the puck out of their zone. 

Ducks Head Coach Greg Cronin pulled the goalie for the extra attacker, and Leo Carlsson jammed home the puck in front to make it 3-2 just after the penalty expired. Anaheim stayed on the attack and pulled the goalie again, and Troy Terry tied things up 3-3 with 14 seconds left in the third. 

The three-on-three overtime period was an absolute possession clinic by the Ducks. The Bruins had one brief stint with the puck but didn’t do anything with it. The Ducks then won it after a two-on-one finish by Mason McTavish for a 4-3 final. 

Boston still got a point, but their six-game winning streak to start the season was snapped. They’ll be back home on TD Garden ice Saturday to take on the red-hot Detroit Red Wings at 7:00 p.m.