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Recap: Bruins fall to Ducks, 5-3

After scoring the first goal, the B’s trailed after two periods and couldn’t follow up on a third-period tie.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A back-and-forth game to be sure, with a fast-moving third period and plenty of scoring. A win following a good outing against San Jose should get the Bruins trending in the right direction, no?

First Period

The game warms up slowly, and an early penalty to Brandon Carlo puts the Bruins on the kill. Five shots from the Ducks but not much to show for it, and Carlo made the Ducks pay after an icing call with a long, hard slapshot that snuck past goalie Jonathan Bernier. Corey Perry missed clearing the faceoff dot and Backes got the seam pass up to Carlo, where he had all kinds of time to choose his spot. 1-0, Bruins.

Anaheim takes a delay-of-game penalty off the stick of Hampus Lindholm but gets a couple easy clears, one of which is chased down in the corner to the right of Tuukka Rask by Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg. The Bruins get caught puck-watching and Andrew Cogliano gets left alone in the mid slot, softly deking around Tuukka and nails the left post with a stiff backhand. A penalty follows from Boston, which leads to a 1:20 stretch of 4-on-4 play and another 20+ seconds of penalty kill for the B’s. They make that kill, and one more near the end of the period, to end the first with the 1-0 lead and over 9 minutes of offensive zone time to the Ducks’ 6+ minutes. The game is trending well at this point.

Second Period

The Bruins struggle early in the period to control the puck, Ducks maintain board pressure, one of ‘em beats Colin Miller off the wall and gets a quick give-and-go to Ondrej Kase to score as he takes a knee. 1-1 tie.

Pastrnak has a goal waved off because Bernier tries to trip Marchand in front of him and it’s called goaltender interference; A challenge by Cassidy fails. This is shortly followed by a Zdeno Chara blast that finds twine to make it 2-1 Bruins.

Rickard Rakell ties it 2-2 less than a minute later. BOOOO. Kevan Miller then takes a high-sticking penalty with 9:33 to go in the period. Josh Manson, of all of two goals on the season, crashes the crease, goes uncovered, and knocks in a rebound for the 3-2 lead. Double BOOOO.

With a few minutes to go, the Bruins start getting to Bernier, but he comes up with several more LUCKY/(amazing) saves and a decent amount of help from his defensemen (and Rakell) in clearing out the crease. The B’s get a power play off of Kesler’s rough play on Krug near the net with 8 seconds to go, which carries over into the 3rd.

Third Period

The puck is still sitting still on the Bruins - first the sticky crease behind Bernier, and now it’s getting stuck in players’ feets. Bernier is tracking the puck well to start the period, which doesn’t bode well.

An absolute marathon shift with the Millers on defense yields many shot attempts, but few quality shots. Anaheim rookie Nic Kerdiles blocks eleventy billion shots on this shift and might have earned his place on the Ducks for the next month. Bernier swallows the shots that don’t get blocked by the skaters in front of him. The Ducks, however, are leaning back - not making any extra effort to build their zone time or keep the puck behind Rask. They seem content to make neutral-zone approaches but only occasionally make the dump-in.

Off a loose puck, Krejci settles and launches a perfect pass to a streaking Frankie V, who collects, continues a few hard strides, and absolutely RIFLES a shot over Bernier’s shoulder to tie the game at 3-3.

However, with less than 3 minutes to play the Ducks swarm Tuukka again, with Rakell potting his second of the game off a rebound, the go-ahead and game-winning goal. Cogliano would have a goal given to him fo’ free in the final minute because he charged forward with the puck towards an empty net and got ‘hauled down’ by Krug. Whatever; that’s not what cost the Bruins the game. This ends at 5-3, and you can tell already the players are pissed about losing this one.

Game Notes

  • Buzzing early in this game, the third line of Vatrano-Spooner-Hayes made some great plays that led to shots - Vatrano with some exquisite board play and stickhandling and shooting (duh), while Spooner and Hayes made a couple pass interceptions to maintain or quickly regain the offensive zone. Unfortunately, this did not carry into the second period, though Spooner did continue his usual foot-magic on the PP.
  • A quick game-tying goal in the early second period really evened out this game, with two more coming back-to-back near the midway mark and fewer penalty calls.
  • Surprisingly enough, at the Kevan Miller penalty in the second period, the Corsi balanced out in this game. While zone time didn’t show it, the Bruins were behind in shot events from the game’s onset mainly due to the early penalty.
  • Frank Vatrano can score. He should play with Krejci more often, because offense. Pastrnak played better with Bratrice anyways.
  • Here’s hoping the B’s can turn the page on this one quickly, as the next game is tonight in Los Angeles. Cassidy should just roll four lines, as the late-game shuffling - while producing Vatrano’s tying goal - screwed with the flow of the game. Double-shifting Krejci instead of someone like Bergeron or Marchand at the end of the game (he played a shift with Spooner and Nash) was a poor choice, but hey, new coach needs gets a learning curve.