It started well, then got worse. Much worse.
Tuesday night in Boston the Bruins failed to build on their momentum from the 3-2 win against Philadelphia the night before, as Anaheim Ducks migrated to a chilly East Coast and took two points away from a subdued Boston squad.
The Bruins got off to a dream start as a Zach Trotman shot found its way past Fredrik Andersen in the Ducks net less than a minute in. David Krejci found Trotman all alone on the right point after good work from Beleskey to fire a speculative shot through a crowd in front of the Anaheim crease.
We then saw a sight rarely seen - Torey Krug fighting. The defenseman is known far more for his work with his gloves on, but he took on the far bigger Chris Stewart in an uneven scrap at 5:42, giving a decent account of himself bearing in mind the large size difference.
The Ducks were level two minutes later, though. There appeared no danger as the puck was dumped in behind Colin Miller for David Perron to chase, but a misplay from Jonas Gustavsson allowed Perron to snag the puck on the right boards and feed an onrushing Corey Perry to make no mistake for his 20th goal of the season.
It got worse for the Bruins soon after. With Bergeron in the box for tripping, Shea Theodore was given far too much time and space between the circles as the puck was worked down low and then back to him from Corey Perry...a hard wrister beat Gustavsson clean and the Ducks led at the end of the first.
Brad Marchand had the Bruins best chance of the first, firing a hard shot from the right circle that beat Andersen but not the frame of the goal.
The second period saw a change in Boston's net as Tuukka Rask stepped in after Gustavsson was taken to hospital at the end of the first period after suffering a medical issue - there are no updates on his condition as yet.
David Pastrnak tested Andersen after a giveaway by the Ducks D, while Ryan Kesler nearly profited from an awful Kevan Miller giveaway under no pressure at the other end, but it was the away side who increased their advantage midway through the middle frame - David Perron shovelling a backhand past Rask at 11:06, assisted by Getzlaf and Stewart.
Kevin Bieksa couldn't believe his luck late in the second as the Bruins were caught on a change and he was given the freedom of the Garden to blast a slapshot low past Rask at 17:06 and extend the lead to 4-1, and Boston were in a deep hold.
The third period saw Pastrnak given another great chance after lax play from Getzlaf gave him a breakaway, but Andersen again stood strong. He had no chance moments later though as Beleskey and Spooner broke into the zone before a truly superb spin-and-pass from Spooner was dispatched with aplomb into the back of the Anaheim net by Chara. Another break by Spooner down the right-side was ended with a glorious blind backhand pass - unfortunately for the Bruins, it was Joonas Kemppainen on the end of it, and he's not known for scoring...he didn't on this occasion either.
As time wound down, the B's were forced into their own zone by Getzlaf, who wrestled past Chara and the loose puck was eventually put home into the empty cage by Kesler.
There was still time for one more Ducks goal, as Mike Santorelli ghosted in behind an oblivious Dennis Seidenberg to bat home a rebound off Rask in the final minute and put the seal on an emphatic Ducks win.
The Bruins go into the All-Star break off this loss, with a week off to ponder how to change things ahead of their return to action on Feb 3rd vs Toronto.