The Bruins are just starting possibly the hardest part of their schedule playing on the road against the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks this week. The Bruins have not looked as good in recent games missing top players like Chara and Krejci who are both still out of the line up giving younger players the chance to step up and earn some big minutes. One player who should be mentioned is David Pastrnak the Bruins first round pick in this years draft has been playing on the "top" line with Bergeron and Marchand and he has played very well earning his first NHL point last night on a goal by Brad Marchand.
In the first period the Bruins came out strong looking to take the Ducks momentum away and if not for some good goaltending by Anderson the Bruins could have run away with this one early. The Bruins had two power plays in the first period and could not find the net either time but they did get plenty of shots on net out shooting the Ducks 13-7. The biggest problem with the Bruins first period was losing faceoffs winning only five of nineteen in the period. While the Bruins didn't score in the period it was overall the way we like to see the Bruins playing winning battles skating well and getting pucks on net. If they put a little more traffic in front they might have scored but still it was a good period.
The second period the Bruins tried to keep their momentum going and it paid off halfway through the period. After another good power play with plenty of offensive zone time the Bruins were able to capitalize on a good bounce as Pastrnak tried to feed a pass to Lucic but it bounced right to Marchand in the slot and he snapped it by Anderson for the first goal of the game. Unfortunately the lead only lasted 57 seconds as a bad change by the Bruins led to a rush by the Ducks in which Sami Vatanen would kick a rebound to his stick and slip it passed the outstretched pad of Rask tying the game at 1. In the final minutes of the period the Bruins again were on the unlucky side not for yet another disallowed goal but a missed penalty where Devante Smith-Pelly was holding the stick of Matt Bartkowski right in front of the net giving him the opportunity to tip home a point shot from Cam Fowler. The goal came with just 22 seconds left in the period and was a big blow to the Bruins who had been the better team over the first 40 minutes out shooting the Ducks 28-18.
The third period unfortunately was more Ducks as they used the momentum from that late second period goal to score just under five minutes into the third period on a shot from Matt Beleskey. Now down 3-1 the Bruins tried to make the comeback and with just under ten minutes left to play they got a goal from Simon Gagne just his second of the year but it was also his 600th career point in the NHL. The Bruins would have a few more good scoring chances but just could not find the back of the net and would lose 3-2. The biggest playes of the game came in the second period as the Bruins had three great scoring chances while short handed one was a breakaway by Paille then a two on one by Bergeron and Marchand and finally another breakaway this time it was Joe Morrow as he was coming out of the penalty box. The only problem was Anderson stopped all three of these chances with some great saves.
The Bruins will play the Kings tonight in another physical grinding game and while that fits the Bruins style the talented Kings have plenty of offensive weapons so our defense will have to be on to of its game. The Bruins have weathered the injury storm about as well as could be expected so getting some big points on this trip could carry over into the coming weeks when we will hopefully be getting some players back. A move I might make if I was the coach would be to move Fraser down to the fourth line and put Gagne with Smith and Kelly. The Bruins need help scoring and playing with better playmakers might just give Gagne the opportunity to look like his old self. As always keep checking back here for all of your Boston sports news.