The Los Angeles Kings are ready and waiting, as they will look to bounce back from a 4-0 loss to the Ducks in Anaheim on Friday.
“We didn’t come here to go home empty-handed so we’ve got to find a way to get some points here,” Head Coach Claude Julien said following the defeat at the Honda Center. “We let some slip in San Jose and tonight, obviously a 4-0 game, it’s a little tough to say we let them slip away, but you know, we played well enough that we should have had a chance.”
“[Saturday] is one of those games where you’ve got to make it happen,” Julien said. “We’ve got to have some great goaltending. We’ve got to make some timely saves. We’ve got to make sure we cash in on our opportunities and find ways to score goals here.”
“We’re going to play another good team, and right now, we just need to dig a little deeper.”
Coming off Tuesday’s 3-2 loss in San Jose, the Bruins lost two straight games in regulation for the first time in more than two months (Jan. 11 and 13 in New York and Philadelphia).
They found themselves in an early hole when they fell behind 2-0 just 4:07 into the first period.
The Bruins were prepared to come out strong, but couldn’t get their legs going early.
"It was a tough start. A number of things happened,” David Krejci said before letting out a big sigh. “You know, it is what it is, but we still had 40 minutes to do something about it and we didn’t. So didn’t [have a good] start and we couldn’t buy a goal, and that’s what happened.”
The Ducks nearly struck within the first minute, as a point-blank chance just missed going in short side on Jonas Gustavsson, who received his first start in 10 days. He last got the call on Mar. 8 in Tampa Bay, leading the way for Boston’s 1-0 with a shutout performance.
Anaheim didn’t put on the brakes, following up that effort just under two minutes later to take the 1-0 lead and send the crowd into a roar at 2:51 into the opening frame.
Corey Perry raced down the left wing and threw a shot on net from the boards that went off Adam McQuaid’s leg, hit forward Jamie McGinn, ricocheted off Torey Krug’s leg and trickled behind Gustavsson.
Just 1:16 later, the Ducks went up 2-0 thanks to Ryan Kesler. The Duck started the rush up ice and fed Andrew Cogliano, whose shot broke off Gustavsson after he caught Dennis Seidenberg flat-footed. With the loose puck sitting in the paint, Kesler potted it.
“They got a couple of goals pretty quick there and then it’s kind of uphill,” said Gustavsson. “But overall, I felt like we played a pretty good game, you know. We could have scored a few goals and their goalie played well.”
“We couldn’t get the puck behind them, but maybe with a little more puck luck, we get a couple goals and it’s a different game. But I think overall we played good enough to win.”
Boston’s deficit could have been greater after the first 20 minutes. During the Ducks’ lone power play of the first period, they hit two posts, while John-Michael Liles, Adam McQuaid and Landon Ferraro came up with big blocks.
In the final 10 seconds of the period, Kesler led a rush that turned into a 3-on-1 for the Ducks, with Gustavsson getting a piece of Jakob Silfverberg’s bid.
Matt Beleskey had a scare with 3:44 left in the first, when he was hit with a stick up high and immediately went down in front of the penalty boxes. Clearly in pain, he threw his glove towards center ice and Liles and Brad Marchand helped him to the bench. He returned for the start of the second wearing a visor.
“It’s all right. Luckily it was off to the side,” said Beleskey, who was sporting a large gash under his right eye. “It was a little scary at first, but vision’s good and all that. So, just another black eye.”
“Couldn’t really see at first. So just glad it’s all right.”
The Bruins found their legs in the second and built momentum as the period ensued.
They started to generate more chances off the rush with better neutral zone play and a tighter defensive game, but were unable to break though Frederik Andersen.
A scoreless second saw Gustavsson stop all 10 shots he faced, while Andersen saved all 16 Bruins’ shots on goal.
Each Bruins’ line created opportunities, with the finish not quite there. Boston put seven shots on goal in the final 5:22 of the period.
“Well, I don’t think it’s a 4-0 game, to be honest with you,” said Julien. “We had our chances and I thought their goaltender really stood tall when he had to — I thought that made a real difference in their game, but we had as many chances and as many opportunities as they did, but they cashed in and we didn’t.”
One of the best bids came from Patrice Bergeron, whose tip off a pass from Marchand nearly found its way through Andersen’s five-hole. Bergeron had six shots on goal through 40 minutes of action.
Beleskey had a chance soon after, ripping one from the slot that was deflected away by Andersen, who finished the game with a 15-1-1 record in his last 17 starts.
“We’ve got to move on,” said Beleskey. “We need to take some points home on this road trip and that’s a tough loss for us. I thought when it was 2-0, we were right there. We had some chances. I thought [Andersen] played good, couldn’t quite get that one to break the ice and then they get a couple in the third and that’s that.”
With momentum building late in the second, a “Let’s Go Bru-ins” chant broke out from the Black & Gold fans in attendance behind Gustavsson.
With 1:08 to go in the period, Loui Eriksson was robbed by Andersen’s stretched out glove after David Pastrnak created a rebound with his long-range drive.
Anaheim went into the final frame with a 24-0-4 record when leading after two periods.
The Ducks went up 3-0 during a 4-on-4 situation just 58 seconds into the third period with Brad Marchand in the box for roughing and Perron in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct. Getzlaf picked off the puck from Liles behind the net and fed Hampus Lindholm point-blank.
Tempers flared in front of Gustavsson midway through the third when Ryan Garbutt was jamming in front. He and Kevan Miller tussled in front before Clayton Stoner got Zdeno Chara to drop the gloves.
Boston created a few more chances off the rush, but were unable to find the loose pucks for second and third chances.
Rickard Rakell made it 4-0 Ducks with 5:32 to go in the third, firing home a home one-timer from the bottom of the right circle off a bang-bang play from Perron.
“There were some opportunities to come back in the game, but we’ve been having some hard times — especially the last two games — putting the puck in the net,” said Krejci. “So we have to find the confidence in ourselves.”
“That’s the good thing — we have a game again in less than 24 hours, so it’s a good chance for us to get back and hopefully win a game.”
The Bruins will get one more crack at picking up points on Saturday in Los Angeles.
“It makes [Saturday] a lot bigger — we want to get a few points on this road trip and [Saturday’s] our last opportunity,” said Marchand. “They’re a big team, they’re tough, it’s going to be a hard battle, but we just need the guys to dig down and show some character and have a big game.”