By: Tyler Aragao
Two struggling teams met at the Honda Center as the Bruins began their four game road trip in Anaheim against the Ducks. The Bruins came in losers of three straight (0-2-1) meanwhile the Ducks had just one win in the month of November (1-5-0). John Gibson (5-6-1) started opposite Tuukka Rask (3-6-2). Gibson had never faced the Bruins in his career, while Rask came in 1-5-1 with an .867 save percentage lifetime versus the Ducks. Both teams come in beat up as the Bruins will be without Brad Marchand, Anders Bjork, and David Krejci to name a few. The Ducks are still without Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Cam Fowler to name a few notables.
The two teams traded opportunities as the opening frame was evenly matched. However, the Ducks would score first as Northeastern product Kevin Roy scored his first career NHL goal at the 13:26 mark. Rask made the initial save but the bouncing rebound was swatted in past the stick side.
The period would end with the shots even 11-11 Roy's goal being the lone marker. The line of Sean Kuraly, Tim Schaller and Danton Heinen generated some good offensive momentum but couldn't find the back of the net.
The second period was all Boston. The Bruins dominated the pace of play. Riley Nash nearly had the Bruins first goal but John Gibson made a tremendous two-pad stack save snaring the shot with the glove. Gibson would be the busier goaltender as the Ducks were outshot 15-3 in the second period.
The Danton Heinen line was finally rewarded for their efforts as Heinen was able to force a turnover, drive to goal, outwait Gibson and flip a backhander over top of the sprawled goalie. It was Heinen's 3rd goal of the year and it tied the score at 1-1
A strong period for the Bruins was soiled in the final five minutes of the period. Josh Manson, also a Northeastern product, scored his first goal of the year off a weird bounce. A penalty on Chara was to be called however, as the Bruins captain showed his displeasure, he took his eyes off the play and Manson's shot deflected off Chara and past Rask. 2-1 Anaheim.
It seemed the period would end with the Bruins down one. Not so fast, Nick Ritchie beat Charlie McAvoy inside and deflected a perfect pass from Antoine Vermette, playing in his 1,000th game, to make it 3-1. That goal came with 46.1 seconds to go. It was Anaheim's 3rd shot of the period.
Things didn't get much better as Corey Perry would fire one from the top of the circle. Initially Perry was credited however, the goal would go to Derick Grant. The bruising forward would tip home his 4th of the year giving the Ducks a commanding 4-1 lead.
The Bruins continued to throw everything at Gibson who faced 16 more shots in the 3rd. The Ducks goalie stopped 15 of them surrendering a late goal to Noel Acciari at the 19:38 mark of the game, it was Acciari's first of the season cutting the score to 4-2.
Final Score: Ducks 4 Bruins 2
Boston threw the kitchen sink at John Gibson but the Pittsburgh native stopped 39 shots. The Bruins fired a season high 41 shots but came away empty, Tuukka Rask takes the loss for the B's and now falls to 3-7-2 he gave up 4 goals on 27 shots
Next Game: @ Los Angeles Kings, 10:30pm EST
The Bruins fought for the entirety of the game but were victimized by bad bounces late in the period. Limiting the Ducks to just 3 shots in the middle frame was a positive indicator and Rask did come up with some strong saves. Overall Anaheim made the best of their opportunities while the Bruins could not find a way to finish.
Tuukka Rask gave up 4 goals on just 27 shots but none of the goals fall squarely on him. Anton Khudobin will most likely draw the start as the Bruins face a quick turnaround traveling to LA for a matchup with the Kings
The Sean Kuraly line was the Bruins best line tonight. Kuraly and Schaller were terrific on the fore check while Danton Heinen pressured the Duck's defense all night leading to scoring chances and the Bruins first goal.
Peter Cehlarik looked comfortable on the top line with Bergeron and Pastrnak.The hulking Slovakian played 18:20 with one shot on goal.
For the Bruins they're hoping David Krejci will be good to go tomorrow, he did travel with the team
Photo: (Boston Bruins Twitter Page)