BOSTON – Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf scored with 1:51 left in overtime after linemate Corey Perry tied the game with 39 seconds remaining in regulation to help the Ducks rally past the Boston Bruins 3-2 at TD Garden on Thursday.
Getzlaf beat Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask on the rush from the high slot.
The Ducks (47-22-7) are 30-1-7 in one-goal games and are one point ahead of the Nashville Predators for first place in the Western Conference with 101 points.
Anaheim had lost the first two games of its five-game road trip by a combined score of 12-5, but tightened up defensively and came up with the big offensive plays when it needed them most.
"Yeah, I mean, anytime you win in this league it’s great. And when you’re playing a team of guys fighting for their lives, it gives you that mentality," Getzlaf said. "Like I said, our message yesterday was that we needed to turn around the way we are playing and play with some more excitement in playoff-style hockey and I thought we did that tonight."
Boston (36-25-12) is tied with the Ottawa Senators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, but Ottawa has played one fewer game. The Senators lost 5-1 to the New York Rangers.
Anaheim scored with an extra attacker to tie the game 2-2. Perry redirected Getzlaf’s wrist shot from the top of the right circle past Rask. Bruins coach Claude Julien thought Perry should’ve been called for goaltender interference.
"There was, no doubt goalie interference there and that’s why they talk about reviewing those kinds of goals and coaches challenges, because you can’t allow those kinds of goals," Julien said. "This was a big point we lost tonight on a missed call. Those are the things that are hard to swallow right now."
The Bruins are 0-3-3 in their past six games.
Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen made 27 saves, and Rask 29.
"Obviously sometimes it’s luck, but when you battle until the end like they did, you know, you might get rewarded and they did," Rask said. "Just one of those things that, you know, no matter how good you feel about your game you still lost and it’s a tough one to swallow, but we’ve got to realize that we played a good game and moving on that’s a positive sign."
Patrick Maroon gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead in the second period. After skating into the Boston zone from the red line, Maroon went wide around Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski and then beat Rask high at 10:18.
The Bruins scored on their third power play to tie the game 1-1. Boston center Patrice Bergeron found Ryan Spooner cutting into the Anaheim zone at the blue line. Spooner, who was spinning when he caught the pass, continued toward the net and sent a wrist shot past Andersen inside the far post at 13:07.
Bruins forward David Krejci, playing for the first time in 15 games since sustaining a knee injury, had two assists in 19:45 of ice time. Usually a center, Krejci played right wing next to Bergeron and left wing Brad Marchand.
"You know, I enjoyed it," Krejci said. "There’s things I still need to work on as a winger. You know it’s a little bit different. But I thought I had a decent game. I know I can do much more. But you know what, that’s why we’re going to have a good practice tomorrow, I’m going work on some things that I found out today that I need to work on and hopefully be better on Saturday."
The goaltenders were the stars of the first period. The Ducks outshot the Bruins 12-11, but neither Rask nor Andersen let anything reach the back of the net. Boston failed to score on two power plays.
"Yeah I mean that was really, we still need the points but, I was more happy with the way we played," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It was just the way we played, we didn’t give them a lot of chances, we took four penalties, which is too many. But on the 5-on-5 we didn’t give them a lot of chances."
Anaheim continues its road trip against the New York Islanders, and the Bruins host the Rangers on Saturday.