ANAHEIM - Though they only get together a couple times a year, the Ducks have established a bit of recent dominance over the Boston Bruins that carried on tonight at Honda Center.
Ducks forward Rickard Rakell scored two goals - his team-leading 23rd and 24th on the season - in an entertaining 5-3 victory for the Ducks over the Bruins. It was a seventh straight victory for Anaheim over Boston, not to mention the 10th in the last 12.
Rakell had an unorthodox goal in a topsy-turvy second period, and he potted the game-winner with 2 1/2 minutes left in the game to snap Boston's four-game winning streak. Kevin Bieksa's shot from the high slot deflected off Corey Perry's skate across the crease, and Rakell was right there to punch it into the open net to put the Ducks in front 4-3.
Video: BOS@ANA: Rakell sweeps home rebound for late lead
Anaheim effectively put the game away with less than a minute left and the Boston net empty, when Andrew Cogliano tipped the puck to himself for a breakaway and was pulled down from behind by Torey Krug, giving the Ducks an automatic goal.
"It was nice to get the bounces tonight," Rakell said. "We've been having a tough time over the last couple of games to get something going. It was nice that we were able to help the team tonight."
John Gibson was held out of tonight's game and deemed day-to-day with a lower-body injury, giving Jonathan Bernier the start in net, and he responded with 29 saves two nights after taking a 3-2 loss in Arizona.
"It's not easy when you play once every three weeks, so it's nice to get games back to back," Bernier said. "You want to get back as soon as possible and come out strong. We found a way, as a team, to win tonight."
Boston took the game's first lead 9:02 into the first period when a Brandon Carlo point shot eluded the outstretched leg of Bernier.
The Ducks caught a number of breaks in that wild second period, scoring three times and narrowly avoiding a couple of Boston goals in taking a 3-2 lead. Among the dodged bullets was an incredible diving save across the crease by Bernier to thwart a sure Patrice Bergeron goal.
Video: BOS@ANA: Bernier dives to rob Bergeron with his stick
Anaheim got even early in the second on a give-and-go between Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie that finished with Ritchie giving the puck back to Kase, who buried it top shelf from the slot.
Video: BOS@ANA: Kase finishes give-and-go play with Ritchie
Boston had a potential tying goal waved off for goalie interference, but soon afterward they got the go-ahead tally when Zdeno Chara ripped a slap shot past Bernier's glove.
But Anaheim tied it again less than a minute later when a Rakell shot from in deep was initially stopped by goalie Tuukka Rask, but he couldn't locate the puck and kicked it behind himself over the stripe.
Video: BOS@ANA: Rakell scores after Rask kicks in puck
Anaheim went in front for the first time with 6:48 left in the period when Rask denied Ritchie's wraparound try and Josh Manson punched in the rebound. It was Manson's third of the season, but his second in the last three games. Ritchie looked as if he may have been offside a few seconds before the goal, but Boston was unable to challenge since they lost a challenge earlier on that goalie interference call.
Video: BOS@ANA: Manson jams home rebound from the doorstep
Boston ultimately tied the game with 8:25 left in the third period when Manson lost Bruins center Frank Vatrano, who cashed in on the breakaway. But the Ducks bounced back yet again and took the lead for good on Rakell's strike six minutes later.
"Some games you only need one, like against LA," Bieksa said. "Other times you play against a team that's been rolling lately. We knew they were going to score some goals tonight. For us, it took four to win. We were lucky to get some goals around the net. To get one in the last couple of minutes was huge. We needed the two points."
Irvine native Nic Kerdiles made his NHL debut in tonight's game, becoming the first player from Orange County to play for the Ducks. At the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, Kerdiles became the first Ducks draft pick raised in Orange County after being selected in the second round (36th overall).
The Ducks pulled back into a second place tie in the Pacific Division with Edmonton and are three points back of frontrunning San Jose. Anaheim next plays Saturday afternoon at LA.